The saying ‘when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’ can best be used to describe the state of Lagos State Polytechnic students.

The students were supposed to commence their second semester exam on Monday August 14, 2017, but that was not the case.

A visit by Bounce News to the institution on Monday met an almost empty facility, with few students roaming around, while others still found the courage to read for exams they don’t know when it will come.

After a warning strike embarked upon earlier, workers of the institution on August 1 began an indefinite strike to press home their demand.

They are asking for the payment of their migration arrears.

This means the union's members were moved from one salary scheme to another; but the arrears owed since the migration was made formal, which is up to 1.7 billion naira, remain unpaid.

Three days after the institution began the indefinite strike, Lagos state government went to court to file a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction before the National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos, in a bid to restrain the unions from embarking on another strike action.

Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, in a statement said the originating processes and motion on notice for interlocutory injunction have been served on the three unions including the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).

He added that since October 2016, the state government has actively engaged and held discussions with the three unions based on their request that the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) 15 Migration Scheme, developed in 2009 by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), be implemented with payment of the accruing 87 months’ arrears, computed to the tune of N1.7billion.

Obviously, the lecturers are no more interested in meetings and talks, but to get their money paid.

Public Relations Officer of ASUP, LASPOTECH chapter, Mr Jaji told Bounce News that the next adjourned date for the court sitting is on Tuesday.

He said the government is now seeking an out-of-court settlement of the matter, but insisted that the union’s terms must be met before such move can be accepted.

He promised to give more information after the court session of Tuesday, as he is confident the union will come out victorious.

For how long it will take for the matter to be resolved cannot be ascertained, but one thing remains unchanged – the students are suffering.

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