Hundreds of placard- carrying members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Calabar branch , on Wednesday , protested the unpaid local entitlements spanning over six years .
ASUU UNICAL Chairman , Dr . John Edor , led the protest from the main campus in Calabar to the main gate of the university, where he addressed the lecturers .
The protesters later moved to the administrative block but there was no university official to receive them.
The lecturers carried placards such as ‘ Our members dying, save our lives’ , ‘ Pay our promotion arrears , ’ ‘ pay our entitlements, ’ and ‘ Stop selective implementation of promotion’ among others.
Speaking with journalists after addressing the lecturers , Edor said , “ Our grievances are that for a number of years now members of ASUU , University of Calabar Chapter have been working and our entitlements have not been paid to us .
“ Such entitlements include the teaching of GSS Courses, Graduate Thesis Supervision Allowance, CES Courses, Sandwich programmes , Pre -degree and promotion arrears . Some of our members had been employed and they commenced payment of their salaries but a backlog of their salaries is left unpaid and that is what we call salary arrears .
“ Even if the federal government has refused to pay our salaries what we have earned which is not one , two , or three but some are running into five, six years should be immediately paid to us .
“ We have been asking for our entitlements for long but the COVID- 19 pandemic has compounded our vagaries and vicissitudes .
“ The lockdown has made it impossible for us to go and source for other legitimate means of livelihood to feed our families . ”
According to him , the protest is only the beginning and if their entitlements were not paid, the lecturers will commence ‘ Operation Occupy UNICAL ’ .
Edor said it did not matter how long they were owed, adding that “ no kobo will be lost . The peaceful protest will end only when every arrear is paid . They should not wait for us to cry again before our entitlements are paid . ”
The university will select a new Vice -Chancellor on Thursday , as the five-year tenure of Prof Zana Akpagu , comes to an end.