There has been palpable fear amongst the students and staff of the University of Ilorin following the announcement of strike action on Monday by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
The Union’s President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi had, at the end of Union’s National Executive Meeting (NEC) held at Enugu State University of Technology made the announcement, calling on the Nationwide members to embark on a two-week warning strike.
The strike, according to the statement, is to bring Federal Government to fulfilling resolutions contained in the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding MOU between the federal government and the Union (ASUU-FGN), the 2013 MOU, and 2017 Memorandum of Action, MOA.
Recall that the University of Ilorin leadership had recently, precisely in July 2019 settled the 19-year-old rift between the factions of the Union which ever since made it impossible for the Union members in the local chapter to comply with any call by the national body of the Union. The management had hitherto leverage on the imbroglio regarding union’s operation in the school to maintain a strike-free institution for over 20 years.
The recent reunion has thenceforth constituted culpable fear amongst the students and staff alike as they constantly look out for period like this to put their fear on rest through the action of the local chapter of ASUU in response to the national body’s stand on national issues.
As it stands presently, the fear has not been dissolved as no official statement of compliance or otherwise has been issued by the school’s chapter.
However, our visit to the union’s Secretariat in the school revealed that the leadership body of the local chapter, as of the period of filing this report, is warming up to organize a meeting amongst its members as some of them were seen making calls to other executive members for a possible emergency meeting.
It was learned that an executive meeting is to be held by 3 pm today.
In the bid to get the stand of the Union, an official who declined identity but appeared more like a staff of the Secretariat stated that “indeed there have been so many rumour regarding the strike, but those remain rumour as the Union has not made any official statement to that effect and if need be, such statement will be communicated in due time.”
He, however, declined further speak with press as according to him, he is not in the best position to make a comment.
In the same vein, a chat with the Sub Dean of the Student Affairs, Dr Alex Akanmu, he confirmed to us through a replied chat that ASUU has called for emergency congress amongst its members.
According to that whatsapp chat, the agenda to be discussed would stem from: “Interaction with the Principal Officials (ASUU, NEC) Team on (1) FGN/ASUU Renegotiation on new salary (2) EAA (3) IPPIS (4) A.O.B”.
Speaking with a lecturer who crave anonymity, he stated that indeed there had been a call for congress which is to come up Tuesday (tomorrow) at the university auditorium. According to him, the meeting is going to a general one where everyone will express their opinion about the development, however as of now “we are not on strike”, he stated.
We hope it won’t affect us? — Students query
Interacting with the students, it appeared obvious that they were living in fear as their fate regarding their academics stay remain unknown. A couple of which spoken with asked same question, hoping that the press has the answer already.
University of Ilorin which resumed second semester for 2019/2020 academic session today, 9th of March, has for the past 15 years never embarked on strike either in compliance with local of national bodies of any associations.
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