By Titus Ogundepo
|DSM/ERC Stand at ASUP Ibadan Poly Congress|
On the 13th January 2014, members of the ERC Polytechnic of Ibadan branch intervened at one of the congresses of members of the ASUP which held at new theatre hall 1 situated at the south campus of the main campus of the institution. This congress which was organized to appraise the union 15 days old indefinite strike action was quite impressive as it also enjoyed a massive attendance from members of the union from the two others campuses of the institution i.e. Saki and Eruwa
Since 30th December, 2013, members of ASUP polytechnic of Ibadan branch have embarked on indefinite strike action. They were forced to resort to this option after the state government at different times had refused to acknowledge let alone respond to several letters written by the Union on how to avert the lingering crisis of gross underfunding and non-payment of outstanding academic allowances among others within the institution.
It must be noted that as a result of gross underfunding, the polytechnic of Ibadan like virtually all public institutions in Nigeria is bedeviled with serious state of infrastructural decay; epileptic power supply; poor staff development programmes; lack of adequate facilities for proper teaching, learning and research; gross insecurity of lives and properties of residents on campus among others.
Unfortunately, since the commencement of the indefinite industrial strike action, chairman of the union reported at the congress that the state government is yet to show any serious commitment to address some of the issue that led to the declaration of the strike.
In view of this the congress resolved that the indefinite strike action should continue while a Needs assessment committee was set up with a task to come up within two weeks with empirical details of all forms of rot under which workers and students of the institution groan.
Mandate was also given to Central working committee (CWC) of the Union to set up a strike monitoring committee as a well as immediate production of materials like postal/leaflets to educate the general public of various problems facing the institution with the view to mobilize their support for the struggle of proper funding of the institution.
Some days to the congress, members of the ERC polytechnic of Ibadan branch, had already issued a press statement which was later mass produced into leaflets for mass circulation and distribution among students, workers and general public within and outside the institution.
The distribution of this leaflet at the congress made the intervention of members of ERC at the congress to be well received and appreciated by both the leadership and ordinary members of the union especially those who attended the congress.
Members of ERC arrived at the venue of the congress almost 20minutes before the commencement of the congress and staged a stall with ERC banner at the main entrance. As members arrive, each one was given a copy of ERC leaflet titled: "Ajimobi’s Government must yield to the Demands of ASUP; ASUP must come out with plans for mass action and Students’ union must fight along with striking lecturers!" (Click here)
Many ASUP members who had gone into the hall without a copy of the ERC leaflet due to the fact that they entered through the other entrance came outside to demand copies. Representatives of the union from satellites campuses like Saki and Eruwa whom requested for copies of ERC leaflets were also given 1000 copies each.
At the end of the congress almost a thousand of the leaflet was distributed among the ASUP members while two copies of new DSM publication was sold with three members of ASUP who showed interest of joining DSM also dropped their contacts which include names; phone numbers and office address.
Immediately after the congress, a similar stall was also staged at the front of Press Council in the South campus of the institution where over 1000 copies of the leaflets were circulated mainly to students. Five (5) students indicated interest to join DSM and ERC
A sum of N10, 000 was donated to the ERC.