Women Groups Condemn Protest Against Former Rector | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Women Groups Condemn Protest Against Former Rector

Posted: Feb 14, 2016 at 9:03 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Francis Onoiribholo

Benin Bureau Chief

The weekend protest against the former Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Dr. Philipa Idogho by aggrieved members of staff of the institution who wore black attire while carrying a mock coffin with the portrait of the former rector over unpaid two months’ salary arrears has been condemned by two women groups in the country.
Reports had it that the protest was carried out on the very day the former Rector was handling over to the Deputy Rector of the institution at the expiration of her two term tenure in office.

The angry demonstrators according to the report, clad in black attire and marched within the school premises with an obituary poster and a mock coffin just as they barricaded the ever busy Benin – Abuja road and subjected commuters and pedestrians to heavy traffic for hours.
 Mrs. Grace Osakue, Coordinator of one of women groups, Girls Power Initiative (GPI), described the action of the protesters as unfortunate and barbaric insisting that “dialogue remains the best solution to the resolution of any wage dispute.”
 She noted that the action of the protesters who sang funeral dirges was uncalled for as Dr. Idogho did her very best to uplift the image of the institution in the provision of infrastructure than she met it.
 Mrs. Osakue urged the former rector not to be weary of the antics of the group and called on the law enforcement agency to interrogate the suspected culprits for questioning.
 “Dialogue is a better way of doing such things. They took it personal against her. The issue of financial challenge is not particular to the institution alone. It is a national challenge. I believe that there were known faces in that protest so the law enforcement agency should go after those behind such barbaric act.
 The woman did not employ herself. You will recall that there was a protest all over Nigeria last week over the increase in electricity tariff. Yet, nobody held a coffin of Fashola”, she said.
 Also speaking, Mrs. Jane Osagie, Coordinator, International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group, admitted that though the unions in the school or members of staff have the right to protest unpaid salary arrears, the approach they adopted was barbaric and unacceptable from such an intellectual group.
According to her: “No matter what happened, I am not saying that the workers do not have rights to protest unpaid salaries. It is indeed painful for such things to have been done against a woman who attracted so much development to the institution. That was too much. It was absolutely wrong for anybody to wish her dead”.