LASU VC barred from campus, convocation postponed

Posted by News Express | 18 March 2015 | 5,186 times

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The Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University, Ojo, Prof John Obafunwa, was shocked yesterday when his protesting colleagues barred him from entering the campus.

Obafunwa’s tenure ends in October..

The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LASU chapter, Dr. Adekunle Idris, at an emergency congress organized at the campus yesterday, confirmed that the vice chancellor was not allowed to enter the campus.

In the same vein, the convocation lecturer, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who was former vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, was also barred from delivering the lecture as the event was postponed indefinitely.

Oloyede was supposed to deliver the convocation lecture earlier scheduled for yesterday with the topic: “From Whom Much Is Expected, Enough Should Be Given.”

Trouble started in the school on Monday when a mammoth crowd, consisting of members of ASUU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) started pelting Obafunwa and his entourage, comprising the two Deputy Vice Chancellors- Professors Sena Bakre (Academics) and Fidelis Njokama (Management); Director of External System (DES), Prof Tajudeen Abaninkanda; Dean, Student Affairs, Prof Kabir Akinyemi, and Akinwunmi Lewis, the registrar, with sachet water.

The unions locked the two main gates of the university, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving the campus.

Members then proceeded to the offices, chasing away workers.

But for his security aides, Obafunwa would have been attacked. He was, however, forced to trek from the main gate to the second gate during the Monday incident.

At yesterday’s congress, however, ASUU members agreed that for the 20th convocation to still hold, the state government must meet eight conditions, including barring Prof Obafunwa from entering the campus and appointment of his successor in acting capacity.

The ASUU members said none of the Obafunwa’s team should be appointed as acting vice chancellor.

They also said the four months’ arrears being owed workers of the institution must be paid on or before 4pm today.

In particular, they demanded that whoever is appointed as the vice chancellor must address all issues of victimization of staff, such as the withdrawal of doctoral certificates of some academic staff.

Other conditions demanded is the recall of Senate Council members who were sacked, and creating processes for LASU to assess TET Fund.

“Other state universities, such as Ekiti State University, have been paid N1.3 billion; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology has received N987 million, Olabisi Onabanjo University has been paid N1.2 billion; the money is not for lecturers, but for the benefit of the university. But the VC thought lecturers are the ones to benefit from it so he did not set up a committee to enable the university assess the Fund,” the ASUU chairman said.

Dr. Idris said the 2013/2014 promotion examination has not yet been conducted, yet management is stunting members’ career progression, while accusing some lecturers as corrupt. “We challenge him to identify any of our workers who stole anything since he came on board,” he said.

The ASUU chairman also alleged non-compliance with agreement and inappropriate promotions and appointments as the failure of the embattled vice chancellor.

“LASU is the only Nigerian university that has not implemented the 2012 University Miscellaneous Act,” he said, adding that the issue of ethnicity and mediocrity must be dumped when appointing a new vice chancellor.

He insisted that Obafunwa would not be allowed to complete his tenure, which is supposed to end in October this year.

“It is a serious battle and we are just getting started. We are not calling for strike now; lectures are still going on, but we will continue to monitor the situation. If the lives of our members are threatened, then lectures will stop immediately,” Idris said.

However, a circular has been distributed round the campus, made available to Newswatch Times, stating that the 20th convocation of the school has been postponed indefinitely.

Adapted from Newswatch Times. Photo shows Obafunwa.

Source: News Express

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