The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Abia Polytechnic, Aba chapter, has sent a Save Our Soul message, SOS, to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, to save its members from what they described as ‘starvation and untold suffering’ which they have been subjected to, due to non-payment of 11 months salary arrears.
Ikpeazu ASUP had Monday last week, April 9, embarked on an indefinite strike over the non-payment of 11 months arrears of salaries and 14 months check off owed the union.
Two days later, students of the Polytechnic, took to the streets protesting the non-payment of salaries to their lecturers.
Chairman of ASUP, Abia Polytechnic, Engr. Godswill Uma lamented that the nonpayment of salaries owed workers by the management of the institution had led to the death of a senior lecturer in the Department of General Studies, Dr. Achi Godswill. Uma explained that the late lecturer, who was a former Dean of the Department of General Studies of the Polytechnic, had been ill but could not muster the required funds to get medical attention as a result of the polytechnic ‘s failure to pay the 11 months arrears of salaries owed him.
He said: “Our members are dying slowly. Last week, we lost a lecturer in the department of General Studies, Dr. Achi Godswill to the cold hands of death. He has been sick, but there was no money to take care of himself since he is being owed 11 months arrears of salary."
"Many lecturers have been thrown out of their residences due to inability to pay their rent. Others can’t feed their families. Our children have been sent out from school because we can’t no longer afford their fees.”
"ASUP members are dying of hunger. This is why we are appealing to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to come to our aid to save us from death and starvation.”
The ASUP chairman also appealed to Gov. Ikpeazu to appoint a new management team for the Polytechnic, stressing that the worker's unions in the institution no longer have confidence in the Acting Rector, Prof. Ezionye Eboh, and his team.
Contacted on the efforts being made by the management of the Polytechnic to pay off the arrears of salaries owed work, the Acting Public Relations Officer of the institution queried,” Is it the lecturers that are being owed? You need to verify if they are the ones being owed and get back to me.”