By Mumini AbdulKareem
A former speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad has faulted the decision of the management of the University of Ilorin to return the institution to mainstream Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Ahmad who has since returned to the academics described the decision as unfortunate and one that seriously eroded the “Better by Far” status of the institution.
According to him, the debate about whether to return the university to ASUU or not should not have been the choice of the management alone but a comprehensive one that will input from all the stakeholders in the state.
He said the uninterrupted academic calendar of the University of Ilorin which has conferred an enviable status on the institution in the academic circles throughout the country has been battered adding that all the arguments that have been advanced to defend the decision by the management were not enough to justify the action.
The former speaker further noted that the status of the institution whether to remain with ASUU or not should form the thrust of the campaign for the electing the next VC.
“If you want to take a fundamental decision like the issue at hand, it should not be a run-of-the-mill decision by the Senate or Council, this is beyond them. They will come and spend their five years and leave, but this is about the University which has had perpetual succession for ages. The VC is my friend and the management, but when you’re talking about something fundamental, the discussion should have been comprehensive. They should have called former Vice-Chancellors, Alumni, community members, professors, serving and former and let the town and gown meet
“Among the things that made the university unique was the uninterrupted academic programme which has now been taken away. It is very painful and should not have happened”, he submitted.
For Kwarans, Ahmad said it is an unfortunate decision adding that a selfless leader and management will not do that because the interest of the university must be at the forefront.
While noting that it might be too late for any reversal, the former House of Representatives member who is now lecturer at Bayero University Kano said that should form the basis of the campaign for the next Vice-Chancellor.
In my university, I will support ASUU to go on strike because that is the culture there but for University of Ilorin, I will not because the culture here is different. For reversal, I’m no longer with the University of Ilorin but I’m not sure the current management can do anything about that. But it could be something for campaign for whoever is coming in whether we want the University of Ilorin to go back and become better by far or we want the feat to be banished to history…”, he said.
By Mumini AbdulKareem