The University of Ilorin branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that it didn’t join the on-going nationwide strike embarked upon by the Union because it was not contacted on the referendum that led to the declaration of the industrial action.
Its Chairman, Dr. Usman Raheem, said that while the branch was in support of the agitation that led to the industrial action, it was not carried along in the meeting where the decision to embark on the strike was taken.
Dr. Raheem, who is the Ag. Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Management of the University, explained that the national leadership of ASUU had severed relationship with the majority of the academic staff of the Unilorin chapter since 2001 and chose to identify with a minority.
The Union leader said, “The Academic Staff Union of Universities at the University of Ilorin is not on strike. It is basically due to the fact that the National Executive Council of ASUU has severed relationship with the University of Ilorin branch of the union since 2001, and since then, the relationship has not been normalized”.
According to him, “our branch was not even contacted on the referendum that led to the strike and we couldn’t have taken part in the strike in which we were not involved”.
Dr. Raheem, however, declared that “the agitations of ASUU are legitimate, and the University of Ilorin academics are in support of the implementation of the agreements involved”.
On whether the branch has started mending fences with the national leadership of the union for integration, the branch Chairman said, “Getting back Unilorin to the national body of ASUU is very simple. It is going to happen when ASUU national is ready to talk with the majority of academic staff at the University instead of talking with the handful of the minority.”
Dr. Raheem noted that “it is clear that the ASUU national interest is to impose minority on the majority of our members”, saying, “I hope they will have a rethink and begin to look at the possibility of speaking with the majority of academic staff of the University”.