By Frank Ulom
The staff of the University of Cross River State, UNICROSS [formerly Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH)] have protested the non-payment of five months of salary arrears.
The staff, both teaching and non-teaching who staged the protest on Wednesday 17 January 2024, were carrying various placards, calling for the sack of the Vice-Chancellor, VC, Prof. Augustine Angba.
Some of the placards read: “This Management and the VC must go,” “We don’t want them any longer,” and several others.
Reacting to the protest, the VC berated the staff unions, alleging that they incited their members to take to the streets.
Prof. Angba said there was no need for the protest against management as they had begun the payment of backlogs of salaries on Tuesday.
He said the leadership of the Joint Action Committee, JAC, NASU, NAT and SSANU decided to back out of the protest since the backlog was being paid, adding, “I don’t know what they are going to ask for because salaries are being paid.”
The VC alleged that four members hijacked the staff union, inciting others to go out to the streets to protest.
“The four persons are not representing the opinion of the Congress. They have taken the law into their own hands. Their national president must hear this,” Angba said.
On his part, Mac Enang Ayu, SSANU Chairman, UNICROSS branch denied the allegation of incitement.
He said: “My members were hungry and didn’t listen to me. The people who protested are not SSANU members but NASU.”
Efforts to reach the NASU chairman for comments proved abortive at the time of filing this report.
CONVERSEER reports that in December 2023, the new leadership of the UNICROSS Alumni Association, led by Dr Peter Iyali, donated bags of rice to the workers to alleviate their suffering.
Inyali also wrote a letter appealing to the State Governor, Sen. Bassey Otu to intervene to clear the five-month backlog of salaries.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time the staff are protesting for non-payment of salaries and removal of the VC. The other was in April 2023.
See photos from the protest below…