There are clear indications that the two decades of feud between the University of Ilorin chapter and the National Headquarters of the Union will soon be part of the past.
This progress follows a sequence of consultations between the two groups of ASUU’s UNILORIN section, led by Dr. Usman Raheem and Dr. Kayode Afolayan, and Dr. Ben Ugheoke’s national union headquarters delegation.
A five-point resolution to this effect was signed by the trio last Wednesday (July 3, 2019).
The crisis was caused by the institution’s sacking of 49 lecturers, branded ‘ ASUU 49 + ‘ by the University’s management in 2001 for supposedly joining an ASUU-organized national strike.
The Supreme Court subsequently held that the university should reabsorb the lecturers and pay their complete entitlements for the duration of their sack.
Raheem, who chairs one of the union groups in UNILORIN, described the reconciliation as a welcome development.
Raheem commended the visitation panel for a mature and methodical approach to the reconciliation process.
He acknowledged the intervention of the university’s present leadership, who initiated the process and declared his members always in support of university peace and progress.
Raheem also commended the national leadership of the Union for doing everything possible to ensure that “an end must be brought to the crisis”.
He recalled that the committee had comprehensive interactions with ASUU representatives to reach a compromise with the conclusion that the peace process should not be undermined by any of the sides.
Raheem said it was unfair to allow employees and university students who were not part of the feud to bear the brunt of the protracted crisis, justifying the reconciliation.
He also rejected the concept in some quarters that reintegration would expose the university to perennial strikes, stating that both the university’s union and management would continue to do their utmost to guarantee that the prevailing peace was maintained.
While congratulating his colleagues on the growth, Dr. Raheem said that Ilorin University stands to benefit a lot from the new peace that has been discovered. He clarified that “We can now walk freely to any campus in Nigeria, communicate with peers, cooperate for studies, examination and peer review purposes with scholars from other universities.”
Reacting to the developments in a telephone interview with our correspondent, Afolayan, chairman of UNILORIN ASUU’s second faction, stated that the union reconciliation process had begun.