UNILAG Senate, unions back Ogundipe

The Senate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as well as the four workers unions of the institution have called on the Federal Government to dissolve the Governing Council following its sack of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe on Wednesday.

They described the purported sack as illegal.

They also called on the Visitor to the University, President Muhammad Buhari, the Education Minister and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to speak against Ogundipe’s removal and reverse the decision, saying they would not accept an Acting Vice-chancellor in his place.

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Over 88 Senate members attended the emergency Senate meeting held at the Ade Ajayi main auditorium.

Former Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Chioma Agomo, who presided over the meeting, said over one third of Senate members attended.

While the Senate passed vote of confidence on Ogundipe, Agomo, said the Senate had lost faith in the Council led by Dr. Wale Babalakin and wanted it dissolved for not following due process in his removal.

“Unanimously without a single dissention we agreed that due process has not been followed; that the purported removal of our Vice-Chancellor has no legal effect because there are laid down procedures. Therefore the Senate passes vote of confidence in our Vice Chancellor and we do not recognise anything otherwise.

“Secondly, Senate has also unanimously agreed that it had lost confidence completely in the present Council of the University of Lagos. We had more than a third of members that attended the meeting at short notice and we agreed that we have lost confidence in the Pro-Chancellor, we have lost confidence in the Council,” she said.

The Senate is to present its resolutions to the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja.

During a joint Congress of workers of the University that followed, leaders of the four unions, – the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) affirmed confidence in Ogundipe who joined them towards the end.

Addressing the Congress, ASUU Chairman Dr Dele Ashiru said the union would not accept an Acting VC.

“The four unions of the University, ASUU, SSANU, ASUU, NASU and NAAT, we rose from a meeting to condemn in totality the purported, illegal, reckless, and questionable, unwarranted removal of the University of Lagos. We affirm our confidence in the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

“Let me send a word of advice to any surrogate Vice Chancellor where ever he may be. This university is not a Jankara republic where village chiefs are appointed by fiat.

“Anybody who is dreaming to become Vice Chancellor should wait until the end of the tenure of Prof. Ogundipe, apply properly and if qualified will be appointed VC. To think that anybody will become Vice Chancellor by kangaroo factor, paddy-paddy arrangement will not work in this university,” he said.

In a short remark to the Congress, Ogundipe called for peace and urged the workers to keep investing in the institution.

“We are all builders. We have invested years into this university. It will be 30 years that I have been working at the University of Lagos this year.

“And considering the number of years that all of you have invested in this system, you are an investor in this system. So remain an investor in this system to move it forward; remain a builder to build the system.

“Let us pray for peace of the University and let us wait for the directive of the Government,” he said.

Ogundipe also said he would re-dedicate himself to the service of the University.


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