Afenifere Chieftain and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Prince Dayo Adeyeye has described the non-payment of salaries of lecturers and non-academic staff of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti as illegal and act of wickedness.

Adeyeye, who called on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to rescue EKSU workers from what he called the “regime of tyranny in Ekiti State”, disclosed that workers in the university have not been paid their July and August salaries just because they are on strike.

In a release signed by the Director General of Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM), Hon. Bisi Kolawole, the governorship aspirant said; “It is unfortunate that the State government, rather than seeking ways to accede to the demands of the striking lecturers and non-academic staff of EKSU, is punishing them by not paying their legitimate salary because of a legitimate industrial action they are participating in, thereby plunging the university into further crises.”

Members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions in EKSU had embarked on an indefinite sit-at-home in July, 2013 to register their displeasure with the tax deduction. The EKSU ASUU’s strike action started before the national body declared a nationwide strike.

The State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi immediately ordered the stoppage of the university workers’ salary.

While describing the government’s action as tyrannical, Adeyeye said; “There is no provision in the Trade Union (Amendment) Act 2005 for workers to be denied their wages because of their involvement in legitimate strike action.”

According to him, “While we are not saying government should not collect tax from its employees, including the university workers, we are curious that Ekiti State government, which normally foot-drags to implement Federal Government policies considered not favourable to it, was the first to implement the new tax regime.

“As at today, just six universities are currently implementing the new tax regime, and what we believe a responsible government should do is to dialogue with the striking workers not embarking on a tyrannical ‘no work, no pay’ policy.

“It is also lamentable that the government is punishing the university workers because they are agitating for increased funding of the university and stoppage of the implementation of the new killing tax regime and reversal to the old tax as obtained in other universities.

“Isn’t it even surprising that a government headed by Fayemi, a self-proclaimed human rights activist is the one carrying out this draconian”no work, no pay” policy?

“The Ekiti State government should therefore stop this draconian policy and pay EKSU lecturers and non-academic staff without further delay, and also resume negotiation with the striking workers.”