Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman AbdulKareem, has said he has no regret allowing the university academic staff to rejoin the mainstream Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Speaking on Monday at a press conference on the 36th Convocation of the university which would hold on Saturday, Abdulkareem explained that the consequences of the refusal of the institution’s branch of ASUU to join mainstream ASUU for 19 years (2000 and 2019) were dire and unimaginable.
He added that during those years the university became a pariah in the comity of universities, hinting that a lot of lives were in the process imperiled and put in danger.
He said that during the period, students that finished from the University of Ilorin were discriminated against by employers while lecturers were not offered places in some institutions for sabbatical leave.
Abdulkareem said, “I will not regret it until I go to my grave making peace among people.
“Over those 19 years that UNILORIN did not join mainstream ASUU if you know the number of lives that were imperiled or put in danger you will feel sorry for this university.
“I remember when I first became VC, there was an occasion where somebody called me from the University of Ibadan and said he was going to be lynched. It got to a point where our students were even being victimised when they went for either training or industrial attachment. The truth of the matter is that UNILORIN was paying a huge price for not joining ASUU.
“The first five months of my tenure I saw hell because ASUU had the power to delay our earned allowance. I was involved in an air storm in aircraft, I almost lost my life twice because I was pursuing payment of our earned allowance. Every door I opened in Abuja did not get any support, instead, they were abusing me to go and join ASUU.
Let me tell you the reality, just two weeks ago, I was informed by National Universities Commission and the unions, that the money I went to defend – over N700 million – was fought for by unions.”