The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the weekend held its National Executive Council meeting in the University of Ilorin, more than twenty years after its last meeting in that university.
It will be recalled that twenty years ago, in 2001, a strike action by the ASUU resulted in the termination of appointment of 49 academic staff of the University. This led to a two decades long stand-off between the University and the Union.
Although the Supreme Court declared the termination of appointment illegal and reinstated the 49 Academic Staff in 2009, the stand-off did not abate, as the union insisted on a full representative return to Unilorin but the university preferred to maintain the industrial status quo.
In 2015, the union approved a branch executive in the branch, which was led by Dr Kayode Niyi Afolayan as Chairman. However, in 2019, a truce was brokered, which saw the emergence of an integrated branch with Prof Salihu Moyosore Ajao as Chairman. Both of them were present at the just concluded meeting.
Speaking at the occasion, the institution’s Vice-chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, noted the uniqueness of the NEC meeting. He also observed that this was the first NEC meeting of the Union to be chaired by the new President of ASUU, Prof Osodeke, since his assumption of that office.
Also present at the historic NEC meeting was Dr Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, under whose tenure as ASUU Chairman the 49 academic staff were sacked, and who has been in the forefront of the struggle for their reinstatement and the return of ASUU to the University of Ilorin. He was welcomed into the venue of the meeting with an appreciative applause by members of the National Executive Council of the Union.
Some members of reinstated 49 were also present, including Dr Olufemi Ibukun Dunmade of the Department of English.