The Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU UI chapter as early as 7.00am on Tuesday, 28th of November locked all the gates to the campus. Academic activities were paralyzed, as motorist were not allowed to drive into the university, leaving many visitors and lecturers no other option than to abandon their vehicles at entry points to trek into the campus.
Following the suspension of the nationwide strike embarked upon by the academic and non-academic staff of the universities in the country, the Federal Government released N23billion to 24 federal universities to pay the allowance for 2009/2010. However tension arouse due to the breakdown in the sharing of the N1.6billion Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) released by the Federal Government to the institution.
According to an anonymous source, out of the money released N18.3billion was allocated to the academic staff while N4.6billion was provided for the non-teaching staff. But the three non-teaching staff unions, including Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) rejected the sharing formula, insisting that the money be shared equally.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, however appealed to the protesting workers to allow normalcy return to campus and to direct their grievances to the appropriate quarters. The vice chancellor told The Guardian that he had met with all the unions on Monday evening and informed them of the letter he received from the Federal Government which stipulates the amounts for academic and non-teaching staff. He said leaders of the three non- academic unions walked out of the meeting because of his insistence on carrying out the directive of the Federal Government as stipulated in the letter.
The sharing formula was also rejected by the non-academic staff of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The chairman of SSANU in the university Mr. Ademola Oketunde condemned the criteria used to share the money. He said the government should have allowed the school management to handle it. According to Oketunde, N1.6billion was given to ASUU, while N168million was allocated to the other four unions in OAU.
The chairman of NASU Mr. Wole Odewumi who staged a peaceful protest over the matter yesterday said the distribution was politicised. He called on Federal Government to intervene, so as to maintain peace in the university community.