PROTEST : Unicross Alumni Appeals To Staff To Sheath Swords, Embrace Dailogue

The University of Cross River State (UNICROSS) Alumni Association has appealed to staff to continue to dailogue with management rather than taking to the street to protest over unpaid salaries and other entitlements.

It would be recalled that yesterday, staff of the university took to the street to protest the non-payment of salaries and other entitlements due them. 

Reacting to the development, the alumni in a statement by its National President, Dr. Inyali Peter, said that since assuming office, he has engaged top government officials including the Governor, the management as well as some union leaders with a view to finding solutions to the issues threatening industrial disharmony in the institution.

Inyali said that he is very much aware of some of the issues that led to the protest but appealed that the solution to the issues is not in protest but dailogue.

According to him, "ours is to appeal to our wonderful staff to sheath their swords and continue to dailogue with management and government. We'll be lying if we say the issues staff are raising are not genuine or that they don't have the right to express their grievances through any legitimate means.

However, it is our considered opinion that the solutions to the issues are in dailogue, not protest. After the protest, the issues would still be resolved in a roundtable.

As an association, since the new executives assumed office, despite internal distractions, we've had a series of discussions with top government officials, including the Governor, management and some union leaders because of these issues. What we can say now is that our discussions with the government and management have been very positive. Therefore, we're optimistic that if we sustain the engagements, we'll achieve results. "

The President maintained that "the current administration led by Governor Bassey Otu is very passionate about the welfare of citizens and all staff under the government employ. In fact, when we donated rice for some of our staff in December, the governor personally wrote to commend us for putting the people first. Governor Otu has assured us that he wants to rebuild the university and clear all the verified outstanding salary; the only way he can achieve this vision is if there's industry harmony on campus. 

The management, on the other hand, has not been sleeping. Out of three months of salaries owed, the management has commenced payment of April salary and are working to clear the May salary very soon. 

The December 2023 salary that's still outstanding is because the government is yet to release subvention for the month because of some exercise it's conducting in the university. We've been appealing directly to the governor and other very top officials to consider the sufferings of the staff and release the subvention. We're positive that, like always, the governor will listen to us and direct the release of the subvention. 

We know the saying that a hungry man is an angry man. But the hunger only becomes severe and unbearable, and there are no genuine steps taken to find solutions. On these issues, both government and management are taking steps to find solutions, and the alumni is not sleeping, too. There's a renewed cooperation between some critical stakeholders that'll lead to the resolution of the issues very soon. So, we beg our staff to sheath their swords. 

He added that the alumni is working on having a tripartite meeting with government, management, and unions to resolve all the issues in the coming days.

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