There are strong indications that the two decade-long feud between the University of Ilorin Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the National Headquarters of the Union will soon become a thing of the past.
This development is consequent upon the series of consultations among ASUU Unilorin chapter, led by Dr. Usman Adebimpe Raheem and the erstwhile splinter group under the leadership of Dr. Kayode Afolayan as supervised by a delegation from the national headquarters of the Union led by Dr. Ben Ugheoke A five-point resolution to this effect was signed by the trio last Wednesday (July 3, 2019).
Reacting to the development, the Chairman of the University of Ilorin Chapter of ASUU, Dr. Usman Adebimpe Raheem, said that the reconciliation is a welcome development.
In an interview with Unilorin Bulletin at the Union’s Secretariat last Friday (July 5, 2019), Dr. Raheem commended the visitation panel for the matured and methodical manner the reconciliation is being pursued. He noted that “no situation in life is permanent” and that “any situation that has a beginning must necessarily have an end”.
The Chairman acknowledged the intervention of the current management of the University, at which instance the reconciliatory process was initiated, saying that his members were always for peace and progress of the University.
Dr. Raheem also commended the national leadership of the Union, which did everything to ensure that “an end must be brought to the crisis and that we should work together under the same Union, ASUU”.
He recalled that the panel had “extensive interactions with members to arrive at compromises and sacrifices with the conclusions that none of the parties should do anything to undermine the peace process”.
Justifying the reconciliation, Dr. Raheem said that it was unfair to allow staff and students of the University, who were not part of the over two decades feud, to bear the brunt of the protracted crisis.
He also dismissed the apprehension in some quarters that the re-integration will open the University to the flood gate of perennial strikes, saying that both the Union and the management of the University will continue to do everything possible to ensure that the prevailing peace of the University is sustained.
While he congratulated his colleagues on the development, Dr. Raheem said that the University of Ilorin stands to gain a lot from the new found peace. He explained that “we can now walk freely to any campus in Nigeria, interact with colleagues, collaborate with academics from other universities for research, examination and peer review purposes”.
The ASUU Chairman, while alluding to the fact that the business of running the system by the management will be a lot easier, said that as a mark of the new found peace, his Union had a very peaceful and successful congress a day earlier where it was “decided that there must be peace and so peace must prevail”.
On the modality that will be adopted to bring about lasting reconciliation, Dr. Raheem said that “the reconciliation is a work-in-progress. Modalities are still being worked out for proper mainstreaming and possible elections of (new executives) at the long run”.