UNILORIN 49 sets up foundation
In a rare move, 49 University of Ilorin, UNILORIN lecturers whose appointments were terminated but were later reinstated by the Supreme Court have established a foundation.
The Supreme Court in December, 2009 ordered the reinstatement of the remainder of the 49 lecturers following an earlier reinstatement of five of them earlier in June 2009. The university dons were sacked for engaging in union activities of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in 2001. Some of the lecturers lost their lives during their battle for reinstatment.
Tagged the UNILORIN 49+ Foundation for Justice, the founders explain that the ‘+’ stands for other victims of justice at UNILORIN who collaborated with them to establish the Foundation.
This, they added, also included “the few just men and women in the Nigerian society and elsewhere, including the courageous and conscientious men and women of the judiciary and the fourth estate of the realm who support the struggle against injustice.”
Its objective, the said is “to assist in drawing attention to the plight of individuals or groups who may also be victims of oppression and injustice, thereby serving as an additional voice for the voiceless.”
The launch of the foundation which was first reported in The Nation newspaper on January 4, was marked with two lectures delivered by Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) and Omotoye Olorode, an erudite scholar and social activist.
Speaking at the occasion of the launch of the Foundation, its Chairman, Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, explained the rationale behind the move.
“The net effect of the problem of injustice in the country may not be generally appreciated. In our view, justice is also the first condition for peace and development. No country can be at peace or succeed in an atmosphere of oppression and injustice. No such country can foster a true sense of belonging.
“The so called war against corruption in the country cannot succeed in an atmosphere of social and economic injustice, of jobless and unpaid citizens, of unpaid and oppressed workers and journalists, of uneducated and oppressed women and children; or of a marginalised and dehumanised citizenry.