Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
Several principal officers of the Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa State escaped being lynched by protesting workers aggrieved by the alleged insensitivity of the rector.
The workers who chanted solidarity songs, lamented that staff welfare was not on the priority list of the current rector when compared to past administrators of the tertiary institution.
The senior management official vacated their offices and scampered to safety as the aggrieved workers deflated the tyres of their official cars to demobilise the officials from escaping.
However, the timely intervention of joint leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) restrained the workers from vandalising the brand-new Toyota Corolla cars.
The unions prevailed on the aggrieved workers who overpowered security personnel on duty from taking the laws into their hands and ventilating their grievances in a peaceful manner.
The unions called on the management of the institution to resolve the lingering delays in the implementation of their incremental step adjustment amongst other outstanding welfare issues.
The unions issued a statement on Wednesday shortly after a peaceful protest at the liaison office of the institution in Yenagoa.
Mrs Ebikaboere Torulagha, the chairperson of SSANIP, and Mr Etebu Ebifiye, Chairman of NASU chapters at Federal Polytechnic signed the statement.
They noted that since the issue was not resolved at the end of April 2023, the step increment and promotion implementation for the 2024 budget has been affected.
The unions also expressed disappointment with frequent requests from management, asking the unions to incur travel costs for staff and secretarial expenses on behalf of the institution.
They maintained that the various unions have collectively resolved not to bear further expenses on behalf of the institution.
The protesting workers also requested that the pay slip of the institution should be provided to staff on a monthly basis to ensure transparency and accountability.
The labour leaders noted that failure by the institution’s management to turn a new leaf and resolve all outstanding issues will lead to total withdrawal of service by the unions without further notification.
Efforts to speak with the Rector were futile as he was said to be out of office when our correspondent visited, while his mobile phone number was unreachable.