Convocation pogrom: Stakeholders want UNILAG VC replaced

Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe

A group called the “Concerned Stakeholders of UNILAG” has called for the replacement of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

It spoke against the backdrop of the impasse surrounding the postponement of the university’s 2018/2019 convocation ceremonies earlier this month.

Ogundipe, a professor, had earlier announced that the convocation ceremonies was to hold between 9th and 12th March but a directive from the Federal Ministry of Education led to the suspension of the ceremonies.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Sonny Echono said that was as a result of the alleged non-approval of the programmes by the UNILAG Governing Council chaired by Wale Babalakin.

This move was condemned by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) branch at UNILAG, which termed it a violation of university autonomy.

But a statement signed by Ayowole Akintayo on behalf of the “UNILAG stakeholders” challenged the other parties, accusing them of attempting a threat on the life of Babalakin.

Read the full statement below.

“We, the Concerned Stakeholders of the University of Lagos, comprising staff, old students, parents and students, have finally been vindicated on the current state of impunity and lawlessness which is actively backed by the university’s ASUU leadership on our darling Campus.

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“When the University Council under the able leadership of Dr. Wale Babalakin sought to call management to order from from its avowed path of financial recklessness, outright departure and flagrance disobedience to the University’s Edict, it was bullied and accused of seeking to hijack the authority of the Vice Chancellor. But the sequence of events as recorded by the Council Minutes and relayed in the latest edition of Campus News (copies attached), leading to the tragedy of postponing the University’s 2019 convocation, has exposed the unrelenting path of insanity and lawlessness embarked upon by the management as cheered on by ASUU leadership.

“To make things worse, UNILAG ASUU Chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru, addressed a Press Conference, in which among other misrepresentations of the truth of what transpired, went ahead to take the laws into his hand by threatening the life of the Pro Chancellor and forbidding him from further stepping on the Campus.

“What brigandage! What lawlessness!! What impunity!!!

“We hereby alert the Inspector-General of the Nigerian Police and Director-General of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to take urgent steps to preempt the UNILAG ASUU Chairman from carrying out his avowed criminal intentions as we don’t know how he intends to carry out his threat of preventing the Pro Chancellor from carrying out his lawful duties on Campus as Council Chairman.

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“In order not to hold our 2019 graduands to further strain and for the university to move on; we advise the relevant authorities to advise the Vice Chancellor to proceed on immediate leave while a Deputy Vice Chancellor should be allowed to take over in an acting capacity to lay a detailed plan and new date for the 2019 Convocation Ceremonies before the Council for scrutiny and approval.

“We’ve read through the Vice Chancellor’s account of what transpired in Council. It is diametrically opposed to Council’s official record as rendered by the Registrar and Secretary to Council.

“The VC’s account is without any iota of doubt, a shoddy afterthought, fallacious and full of contradictions

It actually stood logic on head .

If it is true that Council has approved details of the Convocation arrangement, the Pro-Chancellor would not have written the letters of caution to management through the VC.

Again, the ministry of education and the NUC would not have advised the VC to postpone the event if it is true as claimed by the VC that they were privy to details of the Convocation ceremony. We should not forget their representatives were present in Council.

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The persistent and deliberate lawlessness and continuous insubordination of management to the superintendent roles of the Council finally got exposed and became glaring to the whole world.

The whole world can now see that the Concerned Stakeholders were not crying wolf when we made earlier warning public releases on this gross indiscipline and lawlessness being perpetrated by management.

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