Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



For a United Mass Action by Workers in Ogun State

The Socialist Party of Nigeria, Ogun state chapter, strongly condemns the refusal of Gov Ibikunle Amosun to pay lecturers of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), 16 months’ salary arrears, something which has forced the branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the university to embark on indefinite strike action, which took effects from December 9, 2015. SPN demands the immediate payment of all unpaid salaries to the striking lecturers and other categories of workers being owed without delay.

Members of ASUU, OOU chapter, before resorting to this latest strike action have reportedly exploited various avenues to dialogue with the visitor (Gov Amosun) to the institution, the governing council, and the school management. All their entreaties at these meetings have gone unheeded. According to Dr Deji Agboola, Chairman ASUU OOU chapter, the government has kept sealed lips over their demands and plights. Before now, the government has largely ignored the lecturers without making any concrete commitments as to addressing the just demands.

To draw attention to their sufferings occasioned by the nonpayment of their salaries for 16 months’ running; the worsening conditions of learning in the institution; and the repeated rebuff of government at various meetings, the lecturers embarked on a-day protest rally on Monday December 7, 2015. The peaceful protest saw the lecturers marching from the mini campus, through major roads in Ago Iwoye town, again entreating the government to accede to their demands or risk an indefinite strike action.

This notwithstanding, the government as usual turned a deaf ear. And the resultant effect of these callous and irresponsible postures of the government is another preventable disruption of academic activities in that institution, with dire consequences for the students.

The OOU charges between N150,000 and N180,000 which is among the highest fees in public universities in the country , despite touted measly reduction effected sometimes ago by the government. Yet, the institution remained one of the least developed in the country. The library shelves are filled with outdated editions; lecture rooms are crowded and stuffy; insufficient teaching staffs; dilapidated buildings save for re-painting; abandoned projects littering the campus; laboratories are infected with rodents and insects- looking more like abandoned buildings; etc.

The teaching hospital located at Ikenne town along Sagamu road is renowned for its high morbidity and mortality rates occasioned by poor funding, rather than an institution for modern medical research, training and treatments. Engineering and agriculture faculties located at Ibogun and Ayetoro respectively, are still domiciled in a secondary school till date, after they were relocated from Ago Iwoye years ago. The colleges lack modern facilities that make learning worthwhile, due to inadequate funding.

The deplorable state of OOU is not an isolated case. Same goes for virtually all state owned tertiary schools. Added to these is the non-payment of backlog of salaries and allowances to workers- both academic and non-academic staffs.

Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu Ijebu, was under lock and key for more than 7 months due to a workers’ strike protesting the non-payment of about 14 months salaries arrears and lack of funding by the government. They were hounded back to work through threats and blackmails, while their demands remain unmet.

Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) is another flashpoint. Few weeks ago, workers in the institution (both teaching and non-teaching staffs), have voiced their worries over the decay of learning facilities and the non-payment of backlog of salaries. They have since indicated their willingness to embark on a strike, if the government continues to show its lack of commitments towards addressing their plights.

Primary and secondary teachers are not spared of this harrowing regime of unpaid salaries. Besides, the government has consistently refused to remit the deductions from salaries to their cooperative. The teachers, through their union NUT has since condemned the lackadaisical attitude of the government to their demands, and indicated its readiness to embark on strike to press home their demands.

Whilst education is under attack, in apparent contradiction to the APC led government campaign promises, other social sectors are not exempted: hospitals have become mere consulting clinics due to poor funding; roads across the state are in their worst conditions ever – the votes catching bridges notwithstanding; water is a scarce commodity in the state – save for few communities in some local governments like Ijebu Ode, Odogbolu; housing scheme is non-existence- the ones undertaken by past administrations like Ikangba housing estate are in disrepair. Just to mention a few indicators of failure of the government

Paradoxically, this government enjoyed one the highest inflows of revenues without anything to show for it. It generated billions of naira as internal revenue; got billions from the federal allocations account; borrowed billions of naira from both local and foreign creditors; and in recent times, got bailout fund from Buhari led APC federal government. Yet, the anti-poor government of Gov. Amosun led APC claimed its pulse is lean!

This is understandable. The pro-rich capitalist policies of privatization, commercialization etc., implemented by this government and previous ones have meant that these funds were either mismanaged, misapplied or siphoned by government officials and their rich contractor cronies. This is made possible due to lack of democratic management and control in the application of the funds accruable to the government.

From the foregoing, it’s clear, that whatever the names and slogans of any political parties in power in the state or federal government, as long as they subscribe to the dictates of capitalism, so long would unpaid salaries, bad roads, poor funding of hospitals, increment in school fees, lack of water, inadequate housing, etc, remains the lot of the poor majorities.

Therefore, SPN calls on NLC/TUC Ogun state chapters, and their affiliates like ASUU, NUT, NASU, and the other oppressed strata of the masses in the state, whose living and working conditions have gone from bad to worse occasioned by the government anti-poor programs, to come together and form a united front. A one-day warning strike should be declared to protest these attacks. This should be in sync with preparations for indefinite mass actions against planned austerity measures of the government.

But more importantly, is the needs of workers to link these struggles to the building of a mass working peoples’ political party with socialist programs. The enthronement of this kind of party to political power, would banish capitalism and all its associated ills from our social landscape forever.

Eko John Nicholas


SPN, Ogun State.