The chairperson of the University of Ilorin Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Professor Moyosore Salihu Ajao, has called on the members of the academic staff of the University to embark on the two-week warning strike in compliance with the directives of the body’s national leadership.
Ajao stated this today shortly after the end of a congress held to harmonise decisions of the union members in the university. The congress was held at the university auditorium.
According to him, “The two-week strike commences from 9th till the end of two weeks. It means the strike is total and is commencing at the University of Ilorin and we are joining the strike immediately.”
Responding to the query on the divergence of opinions from other members of the Union, he said: “As you can see the members are very excited because nobody has the right to take our salaries for granted.
“The decision of ASUU is a net decision which can not be reviewed at any congress.
“That is the way forward for the educational system of this country.”
The fate of the students currently writing examinations
When probed on the likely fate of the students of the university who currently writing examinations for the harmattan semester, he stated that sanctions are in line for any erring member who goes ahead with any academic activity.
“You can work it out (yourself), the strike is total, no exams, no meetings, nothing. And there are appropriate sanctions for any members who violate that. It is simple,” he stated.
This strike breaks a 20-year-old jinx
Speaking on the effect of the university’s reputation for not being involved in any industrial action, Professor Ajao stated that it is although rather unfortunate that he would be the first to lead a strike in the school after twenty years of nothing of the sort. However, at the assumption of the position of chairperson, he had made it clear that nothing lasts forever.
According to him, “When I was elected the ASUU chairperson of the University of Ilorin, I made it very clear that nothing lasts forever. Anything that has a beginning must have an end. It is fortunate and unfortunate that I, Prof M.S. Ajao will be the first person to lead a strike in this university after 20 years.
Regardless, he maintained he has no regrets in breaking the university’s cherished run. “I have no regret because the government should be committed to any agreement they sign, since 2009 they signed the agreement till February 2019, exactly one year and one month ago. They signed another agreement which is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and they have never been faithful to it.”
The chairperson further allayed the fear of possible repercussions from the federal government, saying “They have the right to threaten that they are not going to pay our salary, get all of us sacked so that they are going to bring foreigners, let them bring foreigners and bring coronavirus into this country and destroy the innocent children of Nigeria.
“We are not going to sit with our hands akimbo and allow dishonourable people who have found their way into governance to destroy the collective wealth of this country.
Where are we going after the two-week strike?
“We don’t know” — Prof Ajao
Reacting to the question from the press on the next action should the warning strike last without yielding positive results.
In Ajao’s words, “After two weeks if they are not responsive, the union will take positions. We don’t know where we are going, but we know where we are not going to go,” he said.
Against the backdrop of any possible connotations that can lead to bringing the Professor Age-led administration to a loggerhead with University’s chapter of ASUU, the chairperson further clarify that the Strike action is not directed to anyone or any institution other than the federal government.
“The strike is not against the management of University of Ilorin, nor against Prof Age led administration, it is against the people who are in Govt in Abuja right from President Buhari to all his responsible people who are his advisers, at his gatherings who says ASUU means nothing in the University System.”
“They do not pay sacrifice. Many of them went through using the National resources of this country to get to where they are and now they are destroying it. How many of their children are in Federal Universities, they send their children abroad. In which country do you see that?” he asked.
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