The Ibadan zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) comprising the University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osun State University and Kwara State University) on Thursday described the resolve of outgoing Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI), Professor Idowu Olayinka to conduct 2020 foundation and University convocation ceremonies
as divisive and mischievous.
It decried the move by UI VC over the convocation ceremonies, contending that the position of ASUU at the national level over the ongoing strike is total and comprehensive.
A press statement signed by the Ibadan zonal coordinator of ASUU, Professor Ade Adejumo and other chairmen of the zone, which was made available to the Tribune Online maintained that the stand of the Vice-Chancellor was a strategy to create acrimony among members of the union at the University of Ibadan.
The statement reads “the zone applauded the principled position of the University of Ibadan branch of ASUU, with its release entitled boycott of UI 2020 Convocation and 72nd Foundation Day Ceremonies.
“The Ibadan Zone of ASUU stated that, as a united body, the members are currently struggling to reposition and revitalise the public universities in order to make them competitive universally.
“The decision of the Vice-Chancellor not to ask for a waiver to be granted from the ASUU to conduct the convocation implies the outgoing Vice-Chancellor was aimed at breaking the strike.
“In the spirit of the current ASUU strike, holding convocation ceremonies at this time would be a violation of the principle of the ongoing strike as we consider that such a move can only at best compromise the few gains of the current struggle to rescue public university education in Nigeria.
“The zone is equally persuaded that there was no request for a waiver for such to take place in the University of Ibadan, and none was requested by the University of Ibadan administration. No waiver has been granted for any convocation ceremony during the ongoing strike action.
“The decision of UI Vice-Chancellor to conduct the convocation at this period is mischievous, obnoxious and divisive. It is calculated to create confusion and acrimony among the members of the union in UI. The VC is poised to break the strike in order to promote his selfish and personal interest since he has just a few weeks to leave the office.
“The Zone calls on the Visitor – President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Education, Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor, Council of the University of Ibadan, stakeholders, other well-meaning Nigerians and the general public to prevail on the UI VC to desist from this self-serving venture.
“The Zone will pay especial attention to all branches during this strike period, but we are glad to inform our congress at the University of Ibadan that colleagues are equally complying nationwide, and in that sense adhering to the time-tested dictum that great scholarship is the product of strong ethical and moral choices.”
We cannot afford to tinker with that honour of public good, and we cannot afford to fall for the cheap bait of those who might wish to destroy Nigerian public university education, divide and weaken the solidarity of true scholarship by trying to pitch us against our students in whose interest we are serving and now denying ourselves just to secure decent learning environment, classrooms, functional laboratories, work studios,” the statement concluded.