The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter, has described the election of an acting Vice-Chancellor of the university by its Senate as a major step by the Federal Government to restore peace to the troubled institution.
The Chairman of the chapter, Dr Dele Ashiru, reacted to the election of Prof. Folashade Ogunsola as the Acting Vice Chancellor of the university.
Ogunsola was elected on Monday by the Senate.
The Federal Government had on Friday directed the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr Wale Babalakin, and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of a special visitation panel to the university.
The Federal Government also directed that the senate of the university should convene to nominate an acting vice-chancellor from among its members for confirmation by the Governing Council.
The governing council had, on August 12, removed Ogundipe as the Vice-Chancellor over alleged misconduct.
“I want to say we are very satisfied with the conduct of Monday’s election which has brought forth Prof. Folasade Ogunsola as the Acting Vice Chancellor; she was prior to today’s election, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development Services).
“The election followed due process. Senate met and nomination taken. Senate has spoken loud and clear on its choice on who to lead them.
“This whole process is a right step in the right direction. We want to thank President Buhari for the intervention.
“We, therefore, call on the university community to join hands with the newly-elected Acting Vice Chancellor to move the university forward.
“I will also like to state that with this election, calm has returned to the campus,’’ the unionist said.
According to him, members of the university community are awaiting the inauguration of the visitation panel l believe that all parties concerned will have a day with justice.
Earlier, a mild drama occurred as the senate members were shut out of the venue of the election based on a memo by the Registrar of the university, Mr Oladejo Azeez.
The memo pasted at the venue of the election read in part: “Re-Notice to Senate Meetings
“The above matter refers: Please note that the message contained below has been sent to senate.
“This is to inform senate members that no meeting of senate has been summoned.
“Members should await proper notice of meeting after the Federal Government has clarified some issues germane to the meeting.
“It follows that you are not to make use of any of your facilities available for any meeting until otherwise advised.’’
It took the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Education to get the venue opened for the election.
Ashiru decried the development.
“It is very sad and unfortunate. The locking of the auditorium is a manifestation of the crudity and recklessness that characterised the council’s leadership.
“No principal officer of a university should have the temerity to trample upon the senate of the university as we witnessed earlier,’’ Ashiru said.
Ogunsola polled a total of 135 votes to defeat Prof. Ben Oghojafor, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management Services), who polled 31 votes.
One vote was void.
A total 167 members of senate participated at the election.