Tuesday 28 March 2023

PLAPOLY: The Protest By Casual Workers Is Ill-Motivated–Rector

By: Alfred Saiki,

The Rector of Plateau State Polytechnic (PlaPoly), Bldr. John Dawam has described the current ongoing protest by the casual staff of the Institution as ill-motivated, considering what he and his management team have achieved while in office.

Bldr. John Dawam made this known today, the 28th of March, 2023 at a Press Briefing held at the Conference Room of Tourist Lodge and Resort, Heipang, Barkin Ladi.


Recall that, the casual staff of the Plateau State Polytechnic yesterday, shutdown activities in the Institution by blocking all entrances to both campuses of the Institution and this continued today at both campuses.

The Rector, while appealing for peace to reign and the protesting workers to allow normal activities to resume in the school, described the positive changes the management has made since they got into office, but wondered why suddenly the casual staff choose this time to protest, which for the management, “they believe it is ill-motivated and there are forces operating behind the scenes”.

The Rector said, “I want to believe that, it is not just the opinion of the part-time and casual workers, it is ill-motivated. There are sponsors within the system that are bent on seeing that, this management is discredited. Yes! That is what we have seen, otherwise, if these things did not happen previously, why now? Despite the efforts, we are making,” Bldr. John Dawam said.


He went further to explain how his management has been able to employ and clear a backlog of salaries met on ground since they assumed office in February 2019.

“When we came in, we met a backlog of 16 months of unpaid stipend of the casual staff and we also inherited over 446 casual and part-time staff. It was also known to us that in 2006 employment was carried out in the polytechnic and some of them had spent over 20 years in the polytechnic and these casual staffs were not absolved into the institution until this time when we initiated employment.


“Let me put it straight. Not that they were not employed in this last employment, but they want the whole 446 to be employed. This is impossible! We initiated the idea behind this employment. Government has employed 202 of them,” he stated

He wondered why there was no protest before now, the Rector said, “And surprisingly again, even with the 16 months arrears that were owed to the casual and part-time staff, there was no protest, there was no disturbance in the polytechnic, yet things were assumed to be ok.

“With this liability on us, we tried our best to see that we settle these arrears gradually. We sat with them on severally occasions to discuss the modalities on how we can pay these backlogs. As time went on, other challenges came in, otherwise, we would have defrayed all these outstanding stipends owed the casual staff. COVID-19 crept in, which made things very difficult for us and then again, incessant strikes on the Plateau all made things difficult for us. And yet we did our best to pay the outstanding arrears of the casual and part-time staff. As I am speaking with you, we have only 13 months to pay.

He appealed to the protesting workers to understand with the management saying, “We are not bad, the management is caring, this management is loving so, while they are looking at it that the management is doing this deliberately, it is a wrong notion on the part the part-time and casual staff. We have been working round the clock to see that we solve this problem and that does not suggest in any way that the management is bad.

“They should understand with us, lets us all come to a round table, lets agree on their mode of payment. Everything that has a beginning will have an end, we will solve this problem, but I wonder why they are so adamant on protesting, it’s not the best”.

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