Seven officials of the Non-Academic Staff Union and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, were invited for questioning by the Department of State Services (DSS) over the ongoing nationwide strike by the body.
The officials arrested by the DSS included the National Financial Secretary of SSANU, M. J. Akanbi; branch Secretary of SSANU, T. M. Saheed; branch Secretary of NASU, Flourish Josephine; Kwara State Council State Secretary of NASU, Com. Owoeye as well as Idris Alata and Adejumo Olusola, stakeholders of NASU and SSANU respectively.
The joint action committee (JAC) of both unions had earlier directed its branches to embark on a strike starting from February 5.
The unions alleged that the government had refused to pay the minimum wage arrears/retirement benefits to ex-members in addition to the non-constitution of visitation panels to universities, and poor funding.
SSANU branch Chairman, Olumayowa Oyedepo, said the unions had instead commenced the strike action on Monday with total compliance by members until the DSS' invitation.
He said, “We commenced our nationwide strike today and went round the offices to check if our members are at work; we met two people that are not our members locked inside the Network Operating Centre (NOC) and after those guys came out of the room, we discovered that they were not our members, so we handed them over to the school security.
“The industrial action started on a good note with total compliance by members until the DSS came to invite our chairmen (SSANU and NASU) for questioning at their state office at the instance of the university management. The chairmen and other officials obliged the invitation, had discussions with the DSS operatives and have since returned to their houses,” he said.
The interrogation, Oyedepo said, lasted for about two hours before the officials were released.