…ASUU, NIDCom, Others Swing Into Action
Highly revered Nigerian scholar and former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dipo Fasina, popularly known as ‘Jingo,’ has been missing since Saturday, 1 July.
This development was confirmed by the incumbent President of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, in a telephone interview with an online medium.
Mr. Fasina, 76, was travelling to Algeria reportedly at the invitation of the Algerian government when he was said to have missed his connecting flight from Istanbul, Turkey.
His whereabouts have since remained unknown.
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also confirmed that her organisation is aware and “We are working on it.”
A scholar, activist, and unionist, Mr. Fasina taught Philosophy for 34 years at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, which he joined in 1979 after returning from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he bagged his Ph.D. certificate.
A trustee of ASUU and the Chairperson of the Joint Action Front (JAF), a coalition of labour movements and civil society organisations championing pro-people struggles in Nigeria, Mr. Fasina was born to the Ashogbon royal family of Lagos.
He was nicknamed Jingo by his students as the favourite name he used to cite examples in his crowded classes.
He was also credited with having founded the Philosophy department at Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University), where he was said to have donated his entitlements to establish a library.
Since he retired from OAU, Mr. Fasina has taught Philosophy across some Nigerian universities.
Meanwhile, many friends and associates of the missing scholar including bodies such as ASUU and JAF are working towards his safe return.
ASSU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in a reaction, said the union is working hard to confirm the union’s leader’s whereabouts and ensure his return.
“Yes, we are aware of the development and we are working on it, so when we are through in the next two or three days we will let you know,” Mr Osodeke said on the phone.
Another associate of Mr Fasina who does not want to be quoted describing the matter as personal, confirmed that they may be travelling soon for the search.
“This is a personal matter and not a media case. We are working to bring him back and he will be fine. I may have to travel any moment from now to bring him back,” the source said.
Also, in a terse message to our reporter on Sunday, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa confirmed that her organisation is working on the matter.
“Yes, we are aware, and we are on it,” she wrote in response to an inquiry.”