The Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, Eyitope Ogunbodede, says teachers of the university are not taking part in the indefinite strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Monday.
According to the vice-chancellor, the lecturers of the university have no interest in the strike and would thus continue with their academic activities.
“OAU is not on strike. As at today, no lecturer has told me that they want to go on strike. We are not participating in any national strike,” Mr. Ogunbodede told Sources on phone. “If they tell me they want to go on strike, then it is a different case, As such, I must have seen that all of my academic staff want to go on strike.
“In OAU, we have ‘unions’; neither of the two has told me they want to go on strike so we are not joining any strike at all.”
The Academic Staff Union of Universities split into two factions in OAU in 2016 after a group of the teachers announced the removal of Caleb Aborisade as the union’s chairman, due to a crisis over the appointment of Anthony Elujoba as acting vice-chancellor of the university. Mr. Aborisade and a group of teachers were opposed to the process that led to the appointment of the acting vice-chancellor.
Although Mr. Aborisade refused to step down after teachers loyal to the acting vice-chancellor announced his removal, they dissolved the leadership of ASUU and announced Niyi Sunmonu as chairman of a caretaker committee in its place.
The national body of the union however stood by Mr. Aborisade and does not recognise the caretaker committee, insisting that its appointment did not follow due process.
Ironically, Mr. Elujoba has since been replaced as vice-chancellor and is currently facing trial for alleged corruption, a development that has deepened the crisis among teachers in the university.
But he enjoys the sympathy of the new vice-chancellor who has been mobilising support in the university against Mr. Elujoba’s trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Until the crisis, OAU had one of the most influential chapters of ASUU.
The caretaker committee of the union is expected to toe the line of the university management over the current nationwide strike of ASUU.
Sources was not able to get the reactions of Messrs. Sunmonu and Aborisade at the time of this report, as their telephone lines indicated were switched off.