The staff of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, on Tuesday shut all academic and non-academic activities in the varsity in demand of their 100 percent salaries from the management.
The protesters who converged on the campus’s roundabout matched through various routes, clutching placards and leaves, and sang songs which depicted their situation.
The members of staff marched on the university’s administrative block, which houses the office of the Vice chancellor, Prof Francis Eze, and demanded to see the Vice chancellor.
The protest, which was organised under the auspices of Joint Action Committee, had in attendance members of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Non Academic Staff Union and National Association of Academic Technologists.
Addressing FUTO Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of administration, Prof Isreal Ndukwe, the spokesperson who is the JAC chairman, Ibeji Nwokeoma, said that the recent slash in their salaries was unacceptable to them.
He said, “We reject in its entirety the 40 percent slash in our salaries. Since the development, we have now become laughing stock among our contemporaries. Our children have dropped out of schools. We no longer afford three square meals. We have come to say enough is enough.”
Nwokeoma threatened that JAC members would down their tools if the school did not desist from slashing their salaries and pay them their outstanding arrears, including promotion benefits.
JAC chairman said, “FUTO is a brand name. We don’t want to derail. We want the balance of the promotion arrears, equally. Implement the pending promotion not later than September this year. We want peace because there is no alternative to peace.”
Responding, the DVC Incharge of administration who stood in for the VC said “You gave us assurance that this was going to be a peaceful excercise and you have fulfilled you own bargain. We believe that FUTO staff love the truth and they will like to hear the truth truth.
“Even at the last general Assembly we discussed the issue . The staff have very very good. The economy at the fedral level is very bad. FUTO management is not happy that you are getting 80 percent of your salary. We are praying to God that He will touch the hearts of the Federal government to release our your money. It is not our making “.
The members who who declared public holiday in the school were led to the protest by the chairmen of NNAT, Franklin Matthews and that of NASU, Moses Alemoh