Strikes not personal agenda, for good governance – Ex-ASUU chair
Former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Lagos State University chapter, Prof Ojo Olorunleke, shares his thoughts with MUHAMMED LAWAL on the release of four months’ withheld salaries by the Federal Government, among other issues
There have been concerns that students in universities do not show seriousness in their studies. How true is this?
No, students in the universities are serious. Since the emergence of technology, studying at university has become an easy thing. The Internet is a new platform where students read a lot of things. Do not be surprised that some professors in the university may not know what these students know because of the digitisation of knowledge. So, students are reading but the age of science has changed the world. Importantly, the government should ensure that students study in an environment conducive to learning. They are willing to learn with adequate facilities.
With your years in the teaching profession, what do you say about cultism in the universities?
Like some years ago, cultism was rampant in almost all the universities in Nigeria. Today, it has seriously reduced. For instance, at Lagos State University, cult-related activities have gone down in the past few years. If the government funds the universities, there would be a big change. Money is needed to put a lot of things to work.
What were your contributions during your time as ASUU Chairman at the Lagos State University?
That was from 1993 to 1996; I was ASUU chairman at the Lagos State University. This period marked the military period, and the June 12 saga was on. So, ASUU as an organisation of university workers had to embark on a national struggle and the struggle led to what I referred to as ‘the partial liberation of Nigerian universities, because it led to the formation of an agency by the government that will receive some funds from foreign companies based in Nigeria.