Academic activities were on Monday disrupted at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State as lecturers of the institution protested against what they called “irregular payment of their salaries”.
The protest came as the local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ordered its members to stop teaching.
The lecturers, who accused the Ogun State Government of not being committed to their welfare, started the demonstration at the OOU mini-campus, Ago-Iwoye at about 10am.
The later marched to the institution’s permanent site located about seven kilometres away where they presented a protest letter to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Saburi Adesanya, for onward transmission to Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
They carried placards with various inscriptions such as “It is ungodly to owe people their monthly dues,” “We need government intervention at Olabisi Onabanjo University,” “The sweat of the labourer must not dry” and “Ogun State Government please save OOU from imminent collapse.”
The OOU ASUU Chairman, Dr. Deji Agboola, who spoke on the occasion, accused the state government of not paying them their salaries regularly.
The irregularity in the salaries, Agboola stated, had resulted in many of them not meeting their domestic as well as other financial obligations.
He said, “It is necessary that we draw the attention of the public to some of the excruciating, disillusioning and discouraging plights that are antithetical to teaching and academic development in the citadel of learning.
“In the last three years, salaries have been irregular. This unfortunate trend has persisted, thus making our members irresponsible and unable to meet their socio-personal and financial obligations. It is embarrassing that our wards at university-run institutions like OOU staff school and OOU international school are at home due to non-payment of tuition.
“This has no doubt embarrassed and ridiculed our members some of whom cannot even pay their rents and meet other basic needs. This situation, the union feels, is capable of exposing our members to the temptation of unethical practices. It is ironic that the university currently waging war against such unethical practices could be failing in discharging its primary responsibility of paying the salaries of its workers knowing that this is the main source of income they depend on.
“While we are mindful of the implication of any action that may cripple the university’s tight calendar, at the same time we can no longer condone an insensitive and harsh working condition that would be injurious to our members’ productivity. We are tired of working for two months and receiving one-month salary. Our members have affirmed that they have been deprived the opportunity to come to work as salaries are not paid,” Agboola said.