The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has commenced mobilisation for a Protest to the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja to prevail on the Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State management led by Dr Abubakar Dzukogi to address the issues that led to the ongoing strike by members of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) of the institution.
According to a statement jointly signed by Northern coordinator Dimeji Macaulay and secretary Akande Danniel said it is sad that the school management had allow the over ten thousand students been thrown into confusion while community members are also adversely affected as a result of the industrial action.
The group further blames Dr Abubakar Dzukogi led management of the polytechnic for the continued industrial action embarked upon by the Staff unions which has lasted for four months.
ERC also appealed to both the NLC and TUC to come to the aid of workers of the institution to salvage them from the hand of the rector who is bent of frustrating the unions who where gunuiely demanding for their rights.
They expressed support for the ongoing action, stressing that the demands of the workers are genuine.
“We of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) support the on-going strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP).
“The unions are demanding payment arrears of their salary, end to victimization and adequate funding of education among other demands.
“The full payment of salary is a right and we demand its immediate payment across board. We also call for the adequate funding of education by both the federal and the state governments and the management of the Federal polytechnic Bida led by Dr Abubakar Dzukogi .
“We wish to note that members of ASUP and SANNIP have taken this option of strike due to the management refusal to meet all agreements reached with the union”.
The ERC also urged the union to mobilize for a Mass protest both in Bida , Minna and Abuja to ensure their demands are met.
“We urge ASUP and SSANIP and their members not to relent on in this struggle. We also urge them not to limit this struggle to a sit-at-home strike action but to commence mobilisation of members and students in mass protests in Bida, Minna and Abuja.
“This to us the best way to give publicity to the cause the unions are fighting for and also to win the support of students and parents for their legitimate demands.
“We call on Students’ Union in Federal Polytechnics Bida as well as the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) to give concrete solidarity and support to this strike by commencing immediate mobilisation of students to protest in solidarity with ASUP and SSANIP and their members.
“We also call on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Niger State to commence solidarity actions in support of the strike.
“The management is attacking the rights to dissent and harassing opposition staff unions. For instance six ASUP Bida leaders were arrested and detained in Minna for six days on the order of the Dr Abubakar Dzukogi. We condemn this repressive action against leadership of unions as it is an attack on their democratic rights. Besides, it undermines the value of an higher institution of learning as a place where dissents views must be accommodated.
The ERC calls on ASUP, SSANIP, other staff unions and students’ union in Federal Polytechnic Bida to build a united movement that can begin to organise joint strikes, protests and mass demonstrations to force the management to meet demands of workers and students.
“We shall begin mobilisation of Nigeria students around Abuja for a protest at Federal ministry of education in Abuja to compel the management to meet all demands of the striking workers.
We call on students that are tired of staying at home to join us in the struggle because we will need to fight together”.