UNILAG Crisis: SSANU kicks against Buhari’s recommendations

The national leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has criticised the recommendations of President Muhammadu Buhari towards addressing the lingering crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka.

This is as the governing council of the university is set to meet between Monday and Tuesday to either ratify or reject the Senate’s appointment of the university.

In a letter addressed to the president on Monday and signed by its national president, Samson Ugwoke, the union said the membership of the seven-member visitation panel saddled with the responsibility to look into the issues surrounding the perennial crisis on the campus, does not give hope for a fair judgement.

The letter, titled; “Observations on the Visitor’s Directives Setting up a Special Visitation Panel at the University of Lagos and Ordering of a Special Senate Meeting of the University: A Call for Review.”

SSANU said the panel, whose members are mostly retired vice-chancellors, will likely tilt the scale of its recommendations to favour the embattled vice-chancellor of the university, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

It reads in part: “The composition of the Special Visitation Panel with a preponderance of Professors (ASUU members) is an indication that the decisions of the Panel would be tampered with by ASUU. The fact that they are former Vice- Chancellors also implies the tendency to protect one of their own – an embattled Vice-Chancellor.”

The union called for a fresh composition of the membership of the panel, suggesting retired registrars, retired bursars to be coopted, and that it should be chaired by a prominent Nigerian who is integrity personified.

Also, the union condemned the decision to ask the university’s pro-chancellor and council chairman, Wale Babalakin, to recuse himself from official duty. It said the decision has simply painted the council chairman in bad light.

The statement further stated that; “It would have been fairer if the Visitor had directed the entire Council to recuse itself from official duties until the end of the panel’s assignment than asking Babalakin alone to recuse himself.”

SSANU added that holding a Senate meeting without a vice-chancellor in office is null and void, and that the president’s recommendation has further confirmed the reservation.

SOURCE: PREMIUM TIMES

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