The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Ibadan Zone, on Thursday, lambasted the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka for his resolve to conduct 2020 convocation and foundation ceremonies, describing it as divisive and mischievous.
The Union while condemning the move, said it remains under the position of the national body of the Union, that the ongoing strike is total and comprehensive.
Professor Ade Adejumo, who is the Zonal Coordinator of the Union, in a statement released to reporters on Thursday, disclosed that the stand of the Vice-Chancellor was a strategy to create acrimony among members of the Union at the University of Ibadan.
Adejumo 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.
He said as a united body, members of the union are currently struggling to reposition and revitalise the public universities to make them competitive universally.
He maintained that the Vice-Chancellor did not ask for a waiver to be granted from the Union to conduct the convocation, implying that the outgoing VC was aimed to break 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 at 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.”
“There shall be no teaching, meetings including inaugurals, graduations, and public lectures.”
“The Zone calls on the Visitor – President Mohammadu Buhari, the Honourable 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 special 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 fully 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 honor of public good, and we cannot afford to fall for the cheap bait of those who might wish to destroy Nigeria’s 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.
“All ASUU members in UI are therefore put on notice to shun the 2020 Convocation as it is designed to break the resolve of all academics to bring a new lease of life to the university system in Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that ASUU, University of Ibadan Chapter, on November 10, 2020, called on its member not to attend the institution’s Convocation Ceremony.