By Adesina Wahab
The University of Lagos, UNILAG, branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said the Vote of No Confidence passed on the Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution, Dr Wale Babalakin, SAN, is still in force, as it was passed at a duly held Congress of the union.
The UNILAG ASUU, therefore, said it is only another duly held Congress that can review the said vote, and that until then, the votes is still effective.
The union stated this in a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday in Lagos.
The statement was signed by the current Chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru and three others.
The other signatories were Comrades Olusegun Samuel, the Branch Secretary, Adelaja Odukoya and Karo Ogbinaka, former chairmen of the branch.
The union, which titled the statement ‘Professors Olurode, Nwabueze et al and the unwarranted vilification of ASUU UNILAG,” was reacting to a statement earlier issued by Professors Lai Olurode and others accusing the union of over-stepping its bounds by declaring Babalakin as an unwanted visitor on campus.
However, the union stated that its faceoff with Babalakin was not a rejection or indictment of the entire members of the Council, adding that the Council was made up of respectable person’s of honour.
It, however, expressed disbelief and shock that some members raised dissenting voice about a resolution passed by a Congress of the union in which some of those raising the voice were present.
“The leadership of our Union holds our Professors in very high esteem and for this reason; the Chairperson has spoken to all the Professors who authored one press release or the other. Based on the conversation with these Professors, it became clear that for the passage of time some critical incidents between the Union and the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr Wale Babalakin, may have been forgotten. They seem not to avert their minds to previous roles they have played when issuing the press releases.
“Professor Lai Olurode was one of the very first Professors out of several others that the leadership of our Union approached to intervene in the conflict between our Union and the Pro-Chancellor based on our knowledge of his very close relationship with the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council.
“Although Professor Ndukaeze Nwabueze seldom attends Congress meetings, he should know that as a member of the Union he is vicariously liable for any resolution of Congress.
“Professor Yomi Akinyeye is an elder in the Union and was a past Chairman of ASUU-UNILAG and indeed a former Zonal Coordinator. With his wealth of experience, he knows that Congress Resolutions are supreme and can only be reversed by another Congress.
“Prof. Ayo Olowe joined the protest against the cancellation of the 51st Convocation ceremonies of the University after the Congress. He was present when the resolution to call a Congress any day and time Council meeting is scheduled to hold,” the union said.
Recall that Olurode, Nwabueze, Akinyeye and Olowe issued a statement accusing the union of highhandedness in the handling of its faceoff with Babalakin.
Babalakin and the union have been at loggerheads over some issues, especially the postponement of the 51st convocation ceremony of the school following a petition by Babalakin to the Education Minister accusing the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Toyin Ogundipe, of acting unilaterally.
Meanwhile, the ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, has said the national leadership of the union has stepped into the matter.
Speaking in a telephone chat with our correspondent, he expressed the hope that an amicable solution would be found soon.