Students from Taraba State University, Jalingo, blocked some of the main entry points into the city center on Monday, demanding payment of 10-month back wages owed to university staff by the state government. from Taraba.
The protest followed a decision by all university unions, including the Universities Academic Staff Union, the Non-Academic Staff Union and the Nigerian Universities Senior Staff Association, not to go ahead with the exam scheduled to start on Monday 9. from January.
Our correspondent deduced that the unions had closed the exam halls on Monday morning for non-payment of their fees, as students preparing for the exam were stranded.
Angered by the inability of the university management and the state government to pay the staff their dues for 10 months, the students went to the Vice Chancellor’s office to register their complaints, but could not find him in the seat, so they proceeded to block the nearby Jalingo-Bali Federal Highway in protest.
The protesting students also burned tires around the school with banners reading: “Governor Ishaku, pay our teachers, they have families,” “Don’t destroy our future,” and “You have no good intentions for Taraba,” among others. . .
A 300-level Education Planning and Administration student, Musa Adi, and Umar Abdullahi from the Chemistry department told our correspondent that Governor Darius Ishaku’s failure to pay teachers further demonstrated his lack of ability to govern the condition.
“Instead of addressing our demands and securing our future, the governor ordered the police to tear gas us on our way to Government House to register our protest,” Adi said.
A staff member from the Corporate Affairs Commission, Jalingo office, told our correspondent by phone that some of the students fleeing from police tear gas caused a stampede in front of the office as some tried to take refuge inside the office. office, but was prevented. by the security wire of the fence.
“Tear gas hit us in the office and for about an hour, the facility was so chaotic as we fought off the tear gas and the stampede of students,” the staff member said.
The workers of the university protested last week for the non-payment of their salaries and threatened with the action “No salary, no exams”.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sunday Bako, and the University’s Public Relations Officer could not be reached, but the Vice-Chancellor, while addressing staff members who were protesting last week, assured that the university management and the government were working hard to meet the requirements. legitimate demands of the workers.
For his part, Mr. Bala Dan-Abu, Governor Ishaku’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said that the payment of salaries had been the priority of the administration and that the governor would do everything possible to address the complaint of the members. of the protesting staff.