ASUU UNILAG received with rude shock the news of the postponement of the 51st convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos schedule for 9th-12th of March, 2020 barely four days to it’s commencement. Preliminary investigations by our union reveals that the postponement was occasioned by the Pro-Chancellor’s unilateral complaint to the Ministry of Education that the “2019 convocation ceremonies were not approved by Council” contrary to available evidence.
Our union therefore condemns in the strongest terms this wicked, inhuman, egoistic, retrogressive, unconscionable and satanic postponement of this historic convocation ceremony on account of the over bloated ego of the Pro-Chancellor.
This latest antics of the Pro-Chancellor has further confirmed our age-long fears about the destructive machinations of the Pro-Chancellor in the University of Lagos in particular and the entire Nigerian university system in general. Otherwise, how else can one explain the role of the Pro-Chancellor in the calamitous postponement of a convocation ceremony without any consideration for the psychological trauma this may cause the graduands, their parents, relatives, the image and reputation of the university. This is apart from the huge human, material and financial resources that has been committed to planning the ceremony.
That the Ministry of Education could by fiat request the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission to “advice the Vice Chancellor to suspend the university’s convocation ceremony without investigating the veracity of the Pro-Chancellor’s claim is not only worrisome but highly depressing. It is a blatant erosion of academic freedom and university autonomy for which our union has consistently fought for over the years. Not only that, it is also an eloquent testimony to the leadership bankruptcy at the helm of affairs of our Nation’s education system. But for this kind of leadership, Leviathan like Dr Wale Babalakin who erroneously assumes that a university established by an Act of Parliament is an extension of his law firm would not have any business superintending over a university.
The struggle continues…!
‘Dele Ashiru is the Chairman ASUU UNILAG