The invocation of the “no-work-no-pay” rule by management of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, on striking workers yesterday sparked a protest within and outside the institution.
Angry workers gathered in front of the Administrative Building about 8am before marching to the gate and highway at 10 am.
They blocked Ado-Ikare highway, a road that connects the state with neighbouring Ondo State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other northern states.
Under the auspices of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), the protesters held up traffic for about an hour.
They called on the Federal Government to remove the Rector, Dr. Taiwo Akande, who they accused of padding the payroll, high-handedness, budget padding, mismanagement of cooperative deductions at N131 million, among others.
The Police and Department of State Services (DSS) were invited to ensure the protest was not violent.
Workers sang songs, saying Mrs. Akande and other principal officers must step aside.
SSANIP Chairman Dr. Wole Ayeni queried why petitions sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), federal ministries of Education, Labour and Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had not been acted upon.
ASUP Chairman Tunji Owoeye and his NASU counterpart, Segun Dawodu, said the strike would continue.
But the rector debunked allegations levelled against her, saying the Federal Government ordered that members of staff must resume yesterday.
Describing the petitions as “frivolous,” Mrs. Akande said the unions had turned into a political movement to prevent her from administering the institution peacefully.
According to her, management stopped repaying cooperatives dues due to paucity of fund, adding that 50 per cent dues were stepped down to facilitate payment of CONTISS 15 after an agreement with executives.
She said the unions tried to stop her from becoming a rector and when they failed, they adopted actions to arrest development in the institution.
Mrs. Akande said: “This is apparent from their insistence at their joint congress of November 22 that even where their demands are met. Thus, the agitation of the union leaders had moved beyond staff welfare to personal vendetta