By Dayo Adesulu
Peace has returned to Lagos State University (LASU) after Governor Babatunde Fashola waded into the crisis between the various unions of the institution and the embattled Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lateef Hussein over the alleged high handedness and other related allegations which led to the closure of the institution for six months.
However, the present normalcy on LASU campus is not unconnected with the order by Governor Fashola to the striking unions to return to their duty post after constituting a panel that will look into the allegations leveled against the VC. The panel looking into the allegations was given six weeks to complete the assignment. Accoding to Dr Kabiru Akinyemi, Chairman of the instittion branch of ASUU, â€œNo one knows the specific day the report will be released but I believe the slowdown was as a result of the December festive periods,â€ adding that due process must be followed in order to get the desired result.
On the panel set up to investigate the sundry allegations against the Vice Chancellor, Dr Akinyemi, said, the unions have confidence in the panel if only it would be given free hand to operate, adding that his union believes in objectivity and the constituted panel members have their conscience and names to protect. As a result, the members of the panel will not want to rubbish their good image built over the years.
He added that the voice of people is the voice of God and that at the end of the panel report, the truth and the evidences of the allegations tendered against the VC will speak for the union. â€œThere is no way the report and recommendations of the panel will not faviour the union,â€ Akinyemi said.
Also speaking, a lecturer in LASU who would not want his name in print said, the reason for the constituted panel is to give the embattled VC a soft landing, adding that the governor already knows the truth of the matter and has concluded plan to replace him. He however admitted the fact that the system in the university is corrupt.
His words: Sincerely speaking, I think the embattled VC is out to sanitize the system but it wonâ€™t be easy as he is bound to step on toes. Besides, he that comes to equity must come with clean hands. Can he altogether exonerates himself from the allegations?â€
LASU students nonetheless expressed their sincere gratitude to Governor Fashola over their resumption and relative peace on campus, adding that students are always at the losing end of every industrial action by lecturers.
According to Abayomi Savage, a student of LASU, whom VanguardÂ met reading on campus in preparation for announcement exams slatted for 5th January, 2010 said, the resumption date after the strike caught many students unawares stressing that many of the students during the strike had traveled outside Lagos and Nigeria only to hear of examination date through the media, adding that the notification of resumption and examination date was conspicuously missing in the official website of the school. Abayomi continued, to compound our problems, two weeks was announced as revision weeks which was not observed by virtually all the lecturers but bombarded us with six to eight papers a week.
Similarly, some Lasu students who would not heap blames of their failures on the door step of strike were seen having group discursion in segments which they called tutorial. When asked, Mike one of the students said: â€œthis is the only chance we have to ask questions from one another. No one dares it during examination to shit. If you are caught in examination malpractice, you must fill a form which may lead to studentsâ€™ expulsion. Besides, our lecturers do not have time to come down to studentsâ€™ level in explaining difficult concepts,â€ he said.
Final year students of LASU did not take the long period of strike with a levity hand as they were seen battling with their projects. According to them â€œthe long industrial action affected us because we are supposed to have rounded off our project by now and should be waiting for NYSC call up letter in order to join February batch. Besides, it is even doubtful if we can meet batch â€œB,â€ 2010.