For the first time in 20 years, teachers at the University of Ilorin have agreed to comply with the directive of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to proceed on a two-week strike.
On Monday, the national president of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, declared the warning strike during an executive meeting of the association in Enugu.
Mr Ogunyemi said the strike was to protest the failure of the federal government to implement the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding and the 2017 Memorandum of Action.
The University of Ilorin joined the strike on Tuesday, the first time teachers in the university will embark on strike in about two decades.
The school had rejected previous industrial actions called by ASUU as a result of a split in the association in the institution. This resulted in the university becoming famous for a stable academic calendar.
The feud in the local ASUU chapter was eventually resolved July last year through the effort of the vice-chancellor, Abdulkareem Age.
The UNILORIN ASUU branch chairman, Moyosore Ajao, told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday that University of Ilorin will join in the strike action.
Speaking on the school’s over 19 years of uninterrupted academic calendar, Mr Ajao said, “everything that has a beginning must surely have an end.”
“We cannot be part of a body and say we don’t want to function with the body. The question everybody should ask is how did ASUU get bad like this? It is because we have an irresponsible government. And we have a dishonourable minister of finance who would not want to pay people, after working to earn a pay.”
Mr Ajao said all academic activities in the school will be on hold for the period of the warning strike, including the first-semester examination that is currently going on in the school.
“ASUU University of Ilorin is on strike and the strike is total. The lecturers are not involved in any official matter,” he said.
According to the chairman, the academic staff of the University of Ilorin have not benefited anything from not joining in industrial action for the past 20 years.
“We have not benefited anything from government for us not going on strike. Rather, we have been maligned by our colleagues. We have been labelled traitors by our colleagues.
“When some people go to struggle for something and you’re reaping from the benefit of their struggle, what moral right do you have to lay claims to those things?”
The spokesperson of the institution, Kunle Akogun, refused to comment on the development.