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OAU Workers on Rampage, Hold Bursar Hostage

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By Segun Adejumo

Workers of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife on Monday threw decorum into the wind as they allegedly held the bursar of the university, Mrs Ronke Akeredolu, hostage for several hours, following the allegation that she was planning to pay the entitlement of the immediate past OAU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole.

Akeredelu, according to sources in the OAU was planning to issue a cheque of N30m to Omole as retirement package

The angry workers allegedly armed themselves with charms as they fearfully assembled themselves, chanting solidarity songs that attracted huge presence of students.

Omole completed his five year tenure as the OAU VC in June this year, amidst constant protests by the university workers, who accused him of not paying their allowances and other entitlements.

The peak of the protest was the demonstration of the workers’ utter disgust for the ex-VC, when they paraded a mock-coffin inscribed “RIP Omole” to mark his exit from the university with abusive songs and curses.

When the Acting VC of the university, Prof. Anthony Elujoba was announced, the workers suspended their protests and strikes.

They, however, resumed their protests on Monday, as they blocked all entrances of the ground floor leading to the institution’s Senate Building, in order to prevent the Bursar from escaping to deliver the said cheque to Omole.

One of the workers, who spoke with CityMirrorNews on the condition of anonymity, said: “This is unfair. They thought we are fools and could be cheated anyhow. Whenever we demand for our allowances, the bursar usually tells us that there was no money. We are surprise that the same bursar prepared a cheque of N30 million to be delivered to the former VC, who denied us of several rights.”

Another worker disclosed that: “The Bursar perfected the move during the weekend. They wanted to sideline both Senior and Non-Academic staff, not knowing that we are at alert. Some of the top officials have already travelled out of the country.”

But CityMirrorNews learnt that the Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union of the university(NASU), Comrade Oluwole Odewunmi, after a meeting with the acting VC and other officials of the university management had announced that agreement had been reached for payment of Omole’s entitlement.

After the announcement, the workers disagreed and asked their leaders to go and renegotiate the date.

The Acting VC, Prof Elujobo addressed the workers and told them that the numbers of months to be paid would be communicated to the workers on Wednesday.

Akeredolu had to remain in her office until the workers left the Senate Building in the evening.

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