Lecturers demonstrating in southeast Nigeria against the cuts in higher education. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (AASU) has been striking in the region since July 2010., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Police arrest Oyo union leader
By Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo State, Mr. Bayo Akande, was yesterday arrested by the police.
Akande, a teacher at Ikolaba Grammar School, was arrested on the school premises after he was invited by the head teacher to come and answer a query issued by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.
He was allegedly handcuffed and taken to Eleyele Police Command.
Akande was later transferred to the Iyaganku Police Station, where he was asked to write a statement and was detained.
Police Commissioner Tambari Yabo Mohammed said the union leader was arrested because his activities might constitute a breach of public peace.
Mohammed said Akande’s action of invading schools and forcing teachers and students out of classrooms amounts to a breach of public peace.
The state government yesterday said it had nothing to do with Akande’s arrest.
In a statement, Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s Media aide, Festus Adedayo, said: “I am not aware of his arrest. The government has nothing to do with it. We are already on the negotiation table with the union and it has given the government a seven-day ultimatum to meet its demands.”
However, the workers converged on their secretariat and resolved to continue with the strike until their demands are met.
They are seeking the implementation of the minimum wage.
A member of the union said a new caretaker committee has been put in place to continue from where Akande stopped.
The member said: “We are fighting for our rights. You must fight for your freedom, else, it will be taken away from you. We do not want Ajimobi’s table; we want the standardised N18,000 minimum wage implemented across board. Even if a kobo is not added to it, we are okay.”
Also yesterday, the police arrested four suspected vandals of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at Omi-Gbopa, near Ajanla in Oluyole Local Governments.
They are Saheed Omotosho (33), Abdulrahman Ali (30), Babaye Garba (28) and Johnson Oloyede (36).
Mohammed said: “The Acting ASP in charge of Operations, Mr. Olushola Akinyele, received information that a group of vandals broke into the right of way of NNPC at Omi-Gbopa via Ajanla, tampering with the NNPC pipeline.”