By Dayo Adesulu
LAGOS— The fate of students in the 104 Federal Unity Colleges in Nigeria is hanging in the balance, as staff, yesterday, embarked on an indefinite strike over the non-payment of salaries and allowances.
Union chairmen of many of the Unity Schools who spoke with Vanguard, vowed to proceed on indefinite strike until the Federal Ministry of Education acceded to their demands.
Zonal Director, South-West, Unity Schools, Dr Ganiyu Adeniyi, told Vanguard on telephone: “As we speak, there are schools that are being owed salaries, unpaid arrears since 2007, and a host of other arrears.”
He said since there was no remarkable commitment on the part of the government, the strike would continue indefinitely.
Adeniyi, who dismissed the circular from the Federal Government that the strike had been put on hold, added that the government did not call the strike and could not, therefore, call it off.
Chairman, Federal Government College, Idoani, Ondo State, Comrade Babatunde Ikuemelo, said: “The strike continues and it is indefinite. Though we have conflicting statements, nobody has suspended the strike. The national executive of our association has sold us out and we are embarking on this strike to tell them that we are not fools.
However, Chairman, Kings College, Lagos, Comrade Uche Collins said that the strike started at the early hours of yesterday had been put on hold, adding that any staff who refused to come for work was on his own.
According to him, a circular was passed by the Federal Ministry of Education to all Unity Schools to put the strike on hold
Meanwhile, Queens College, Yaba has not joined the strike because it just resumed from its long vacation due to their internal crisis. Its chairman,Comrade Oladejo Abiodun, who spoke with Vanguard said the Federal Ministry of Education had urged them not to engage in the strike, adding that it was doing something about their demands.