A faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Lagos State University (LASU) has dissociated itself from the condemnation of the selection process of the university’s next vice-chancellor.
In a statement jointly signed by Ibrahim Bakare and Dr Sylvester Ìdòwú, the chairman and the general secretary respectively, maintained the other faction’s stance was “misleading”.
EduCeleb.com had earlier reported that the other faction in statement signed by its secretary, Tony Dansu and his deputy, Adeolu Oyekan described the ongoing process as flawed claiming some unqualified persons were in the race.
But the Special Adviser to the state government on education, Tokunbo Wahab dismissed the claim of the duo insisting that they were no longer staff of the university and could not be representing the union.
Both Dansu and Oyekan were dismissed by the university in September 2019 on actions bordering on indictments of unauthorised removal, retention, dissemination and publication of official confidential documents and other infractions.
The Bakare-led executive of ASUU-LASU said the attitude of the duo was prejudicial as the case of their legitimacy as staff of the University is pending in court.
“The leadership of the erstwhile Exco of ASUU-LASU to which they are laying a claim ceased to exist on the 24th January, 2020 when the Congress of our Union elected and inaugurated the Ibrahim BAKARE-led Exco,” the statement added.
“Therefore, to have written on our behalf as Secretary and Asst. Secretary is condemnable.”
As it dissociates itself from the duo’s earlier statement, it emphasised the necessity of maintaining neutrality while the selection process continues.
“We (ASUU-LASU Exco) hereby write to dissociate ourselves from the letter the duo of Drs DANSU and OYEKAN wrote to the Governor and Visitor to our University on a matter that is strictly outside our purview as Unionists to delve into.
“We wish to reiterate unequivocally that as a Union, it is not within our mandate to interfere in or truncate the Selection process of the Vice Chancellor of the University.
“The Selection Committee, statutorily comprising the Chairman of the University Governing Council, as Chairman, three other members of Council and three representatives of the University Senate are saddled with the responsibility of the selection of the Vice Chancellor. And, out of the pool of the contenders, the three adjudged best candidates have been shortlisted and presented to His Excellency, the State Governor who will ultimately pick the best.”
The Bakare-led executives recalled the role of the Chairman of the Selection Committee, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo who held a similar responsibility leading to the emergence of the outgoing vice-chancellor, Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun.
“Therefore, we have no doubt that the Selection Committee headed by Prof. Adebayo NINALOWO has repeated the feat by presenting the best three candidates to the Governor.
“It is our belief and conviction that the three shortlisted candidates are renowned scholars capable of administering the University.”
“Our primary concern as a Union of committed academics is that the peace, security, tranquility, progress and harmony among all staff that have subsisted in the University in the last five years be sustained and improved upon by whoever emerges as our Vice Chancellor. We pray that God will endow the Governor the wisdom, courage and the divine discernment to pick the best candidate for our great University.”
The Bakare-led executives urged the duo of Dansu and Oyekan to exercise restraints as they await the outcome of the litigation contesting their statuses as LASU staff.
“Much as we are not in any way happy about the misfortune that befell Drs. DANSU and OYEKAN, their activities geared towards bringing down the achievements of our University and their resolve to breach the peace in the University should be discontinued. Rather, they should await the judgements of their lawsuits from the court of law in due course.”