he assumption of office of the new Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, on Monday was marred by a peaceful protest by the institution’s non-academic staff members.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest was staged by Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).
NAN also reports that the inauguration and thanksgiving service of the 13th vice-chancellor was held at Chapel of Resurrection within the university on Monday.
However, the institution’s staff members held the protest immediately after the service over the 75:25 per cent sharing formula of the just-approved N22.1 billion for payment of earned allowances for university staffers by the Federal Government.
The protesters marched through the base of the vice-chancellor’s office to the frontage of Trenchard Hall, Mellamby Hall, Tedder Hall and Students’ Union Building before dispersing.
Speakers during the protest included SSANU Chairman, Abiodun Omisore; his NASU counterpart, Malachy Etim; a former SSANU chairman, Wale Akinremi and a former National Vice-Chairman of SSANU, Alfred Jimoh.
Etim said: “We want to educate our members on the strike that is coming up, because we are going to take our destiny into our hands.
“At the same time, we want the public to warn the Minister of Education. We know he is an academic.The Executive Secretary of NUC is also an academic.
“If they think they can use the non-teaching staff money to pay the academics, which they will benefit from, we will not accept that.
“We are sending a signal to them that very soon, we will close down all the universities, except they retrace their steps. Government is pushing us to go on strike.”
In his remarks, Akinremi, appealed to the public to prevail on the government to ensure justice.
Adebowale, while speaking during the service, promised to administer the country’s premier university with the fear of God.
“By the special grace of God, we will run an administration that is God-fearing; and administration that seeks and pursues the welfare of everyone, not minding their ethnicity, faith or creed.
“Only an administration that is fair, even and just in leading people can bring glory to God’s name,” the new helmsman said.