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UNILAG staff protests against vice-chancellor’s removal

By Idris Odewunmi

Hours after University of Lagos (UNILAG) governing council announce removal of the Vice-chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, staff of the institution embarked on a march to reject the position of the governing Council, and urge the federal government to dissolve the Council.

The march embarked upon by the staff was to express their dissatisfaction with modalities adopted by the council led by Pro-chancellor, Dr. Wale Babalakin, in removal of Ogundipe and appointment of Prof. Theophilus Soyombo as the acting vice-chancellor for the institution.

Before the protest on Thursday, the Senate had also met to reject the position of the governing council and insisted that Ogundipe must be allowed to serve his tenure as the vice-chancellor of the institution.

During the march that lasted several minutes, the protesters pass a vote of confidence on the leadership of the embattled vice-chancellor and directed the council to adopt laid down procedure in appointment of vice-chancellor for the institution.

The protesters were said to have converged within the school premises when report emanated that the governing council at a meeting in Abuja relieved Ogundipe of his duties over alleged gross misconduct, financial recklessness, and abuse of office.

Speaking on behalf of the staff, Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNLAG chapter, Dr, Dele Ashiru, described the action of the governing council as an act of illegality, and that they would not allow such actions to stand in the institution.

Ashiru disclosed that the march was a show of solidarity to the embattled vice-chancellor and send signals to the governing council that the four unions, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non-Academic Staff of Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), were not in support of their action.

According to him, Ogundipe is our vice-chancellor and is unnecessarily being tried by the governing council and that is why we have embarked on this solidarity march in support of senate position.

While speaking on the need to dissolve the governing council, the chairman stated that the unions believe that the federal government would not encourage illegality.

“I do not want to speculate that a government that is fighting corruption, a government that says it is devoted to the rule of law will close his eyes and allow violation of extant laws set by the same government”.

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