The University of Lagos has reacted to a threat by the local branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to disrupt the Governing Council Meeting scheduled for July 15, 2020.
The reaction was contained in a statement on Sunday by Oladejo Azeez, Registrar and Secretary to Council.
In the statement titled: “Re: Threat by ASUU to disrupt the Governing Council Meeting,” the Registrar stated: “The attention of the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr Bolanle Olawale Babalakin , SAN has been drawn to the notice of Congress by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos branch, scheduled for Wednesday, 15th of July , 2020 at the Foyer of the Council Chambers.
“I have the instruction of the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council to inform members of the University Community and the general public as follows:
“It is important to note that Council had earlier issued a notice for the Council Meeting commencing on the same 15th of July 2020.
“This Council Meeting, apart from being statutory was also requisitioned by the Vice Chancellor of the University.
“The Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe , FAS recently requisitioned the meeting to the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr Wale Babalakin on May 11, 2020 and June 26, 2020 respectively.
“The time and topic by ASUU for their Congress clearly indicate its plan ASUU to disrupt the Council Meeting, especially since it has issued several threats to prevent the Pro Chancellor from coming to the University.
“This action is violently against the provision of Section 41, subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) ( Fourth Alteration), which guarantees freedom of movement of Nigerians within Nigeria.
“ASUU as a trade union under the laws of Nigeria is also expected to know that Section 4 of the Trade Union Act states that ‘No person shall subject any other person to any form of constraint or restriction in the course of persuasion.’
“Obviously, ASUU, University of Lagos Chapter has shown clearly that it is a group that does not adhere to the Constitution of Nigeria or the Trade Union law which it is a part of.
“As a responsible Council, we will not engage ASUU, University of Lagos branch on issues that are beyond its duties, powers and responsibilities under the laws of Nigeria.
“We therefore advice all law abiding Nigerians to discountenance the action of the leadership of ASUU, University of Lagos branch and go about their legitimate duties as they will be protected under the laws of the federation.”
The ASUU had earlier declared Babalakin still persona non grata in the school, saying its vote of no confidence on him has not been vacated.
In a statement by its Chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru, on Saturday in Lagos, Unilag ASUU said: “The attention of our union has been drawn to a surreptitious council meeting summoned by Dr Wale Babalakin.
“Our union wishes to remind members of the university community and the general public that the vote of no confidence on Babalakin and his persona non grata status on account of the unfortunate cancellation of the university’s convocation ceremonies occasioned by him has not been vacated by the congress.
“Consequently, he should be advised to rethink his intention of entering the university, as his presence may rupture the long-cherished peace and tranquility on our campus.
“Our union, therefore, respectfully call on the Minister if Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, to please rein in Dr Babalakin.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the union after at a congress on March 11 passed the vote of no confidence on the pro chancellor and declared him persona non grata in Unilag in reaction to the suspension of the university’s 51st convocation ceremony.