By Emmanuel Edukugho
Armed guards took positions at entrances to examination halls monday as Lagos State University (LASU) students began their second semester examinations after six months lock-out caused by the dispute between workers and management pushing for removal of the vice chancellor, Professor Lateef Hussain.
The examinations went on smoothly without any hitch after truce was reached between the authorities and striking unions to end the devastating 6-month strike which restored normalcyÂ to the institution last Thursday.
It took the intervention of traditional rulers spearheaded by the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, to pacify the unions who had remained adamant despite the order by the Lagos State Government to resume work on Friday, 4th December, 2009.
A visitation panel set up by the government has been inaugurated and given six weeks to complete its assignment and submit the report.
All the aggrieved unions – Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Related Institutions (NASU),Â National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Students Union Government (SUG) and the embattled Vice Chancellor, are expected to take their cases to the Visitation Panel headed by Justice O. Silva (rtd).
The of the panel recommendations will determine the fate of Professor Hussain, who is said have been indicted by an ad hoc committee of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The need for armed guards
Vanguard gathered that the armed guards, otherwise called â€œCampus Marshalls,â€ were drafted to the examination points following threats by some students to disrupt the examinations, claiming that the period was too short and that more time should be given for preparations.
When Vanguard visited the campus yesterday morning, examinations were going on in various departments and faculties. Students were seen writing their papers while stern looking armed guards maintained security.
All students entering the institution were thoroughly searched at the main gate including their bags.
It was gathered that the workers are being paid gradually since last Friday as they are owed about six months pay. Most of them got their August salary.
The remaining outstanding salaries are to be spread over the next months.
As at monday, the Vice Chancellor and other principal officers are yet to resume effectively. None of the union leaders were available when Vanguard visited.