The University of Ilorin branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that it did not join the on-going nationwide strike embarked upon by the union because the national leadership of ASUU has severed relationship with majority of academic staff of the Unilorin chapter since 2001.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Monday, the Unilorin ASUU chairman, Dr. Usman Raheem, said that the national leadership of the union had chosen to identify with a minority of the academic staff of the institution.
Dr. Raheem, who said that while the branch was in support of the agitation that led to the industrial action, added that it was not contacted on the referendum that led to declaration of the industrial action.
The Unilorin ASUU chairman, who is the Acting Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Management of the University, also said that the branch was not carried along in the meeting where the decision to embark on the strike was taken.
“The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) 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.”
“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,” he said.
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.”