By Egwu Agha Amarachukwu
Authorities of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwanna Afikpo, Ebonyi state, has alleged that its Academic Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) branch has been well equipped with dangerous tools.
This allegation came as academic statff of the school have been protesting the withdrawal of their special allowance identified as Peculiar Academic Allowance (PAA) by management of the polytechnic.
The PAA was withdrawn last month prompting the lecturers to protest the withdrawal and demanded its immediate restoration.
But addressing journalists at the polytechnic, rector of the school, Ven. Ogbonnia Ibe-Enwo berated the lecturers saying that they had militarised their union.
He also said the union had been high-jacked by some persons in the group who had personal issues with the management of the institution. He noted that it was only one-month allowance that had not been paid, which he said, was supposed to be the cause of the protest by the lecturers.
“By January 2018, our wage bill again dropped. It wasn’t as it was in December 2017. So, it couldn’t accommodate that peculiar allowance, but ee paid full salaries. The next thing the union did was to hold their meeting and passed a resolution to start demonstration.
“It is instructive to note that before now, they had given 21-day ultimatum to the council that they were going to embark on strike.
Council invited the union, deliberated on the issue of peculiar allowance, and their purported double pension deductions. It was
exhaustively discussed, but the council discovered that they were unable to prove their allegation beyond doubt.
“We are still negotiating. The council, being the highest decision making body, had already taken a decision. But what we saw was that the union went on demonstration without waiting for our action.
“I want to say that some individuals have high-jacked the affairs of the union for self-serving purposes. They have issues with the management and they think that the best place they can express it is at the floor of the union. They met in the union, moved motions without opposition and have gone on protest. The type of unionism they are operating is not the type we did in our own time,” Ibe-Enwo stated.