Non-Academic Staff Lock Entrances To University Of Calabar, Flog CSO
Academic activities at the University of
Calabar, Cross Rivers State, were on Friday
brought to a standstill following the locking
of all entrances leading in and out of the
Students and lecturers were stranded as no
vehicle could gain access in and out of the
university’s three major entrances.
The action was carried out by the local
branch of the Joint Action Committee
comprising Senior Staff Association of
Nigerian Universities, National Association
of Academic Technologists and Non-
Academic Staff Union.
Angry lecturers and students said the
union members had by their action,
behaved like illiterates.
The institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof.
security officer was in the early hours of
the day, flogged by members of JAC.
When confronted, the local chairman of
JAC, Mr. David Egerton, declined
However, one of the members of JAC who
spoke in the condition of anonymity, said
the workers were protesting the non-
payment of earned allowances, off duty
allowances for security staff and overtime
for a period of over 10 months.
A lecturer, who was stranded for hours
outside the university gate, Dr.Deji
Owolabi, said he was surprised to have
been locked out, adding that there was no
indication that the gate would be locked
when he left the campus at the early hours
of the day.
morning and just came back at about 11am
to see that the gate was locked. I am
disappointed that I have had to stay out
here without knowing what was wrong. I
do not know what is happening.
“Why should they lock us out when most
of us live on campus? They mean I cannot
have access to my family? This is not the
best way to pursue their grievances,” he
Another lecturer, whose identity could not
be ascertained, in annoyance openly
referred to the JAC members as illiterates.
“They are illiterates and that is why they
locked the gates. If not, they should have
known how to channel their grievances,”
His outburst, however, attracted instant
criticisms as it did not go down well with
JAC members who heard the comment.
The unidentified lecturers took his leave
before the JAC members could mobilise
When contacted, the Vice Chancellor of
UNICAL, Prof. James Epoke, said it was
wrong for the workers to take the laws into
their hands by locking all entrances to the
Speaking on the grievances of the workers,
Epoke said the institution released N15m
on Monday to cater for some of the
complaints of the workers.
For the earned allowances, Epoke said no
Nigerian university worker had been paid,
adding that the Federal Government was
still collating the process of settling it.
He said, “The workers did not tell you that
the school management paid N15m to them
just on Monday here. Most of them that
were qualified to receive it have got theirs.
The process is gradual.
“For the earned allowances, no Nigerian
university has paid it as the Federal
Government is still collating the matter.
“It is mischievous for them to lock the gate.
What has the gate got to do with their
grievances? They even flogged my chief
security officer this morning. I am calling
on the police to intervene,” Epoke said.