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51st Convocation: UNILAG lecturers want Babalakin removed

Rising from a Congress on Wednesday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter, has passed a vote-of-no-confidence on the university’s…

Rising from a Congress on Wednesday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter, has passed a vote-of-no-confidence on the university’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin, calling for his removal.

The union at the Congress declared Babalakin a persona non grata, warning him to steer clear of the University campus.

After the congress, lecturers moved round the campus protesting against Babalakin; singing solidarity songs and carrying leaves and placards with different inscriptions calling for Babalakin’s removal. They said they will not allow the Pro-Chancellor to treat the University as an extension of his law firm.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: ‘Dictator Pro-Chancellor must GO’; and ‘Remove Babalakin. When? Remove him NOW’ among others.

The Chairman of the union, Dr. Dele Ashiru, called on the Federal Ministry of Education to remove Babalakin, alleging that he had caused more harm than good to the institution; accusing him of causing the suspension of the University’s 51st convocation ceremony earlier scheduled to hold from March 9-12, 2020.

It was gathered that the Pro-Chancellor, Babalakin had written to the Education minister, Malam Adamu Adamu, claiming that the University management got no approval from the Council for the convocation programme.

The Education ministry thereafter wrote to the National Universities Commission (NUC) requesting it to advise UNILAG management to suspend the convocation ceremony and comply with procedures.

The union, however, condemned the action of the Pro-Chancellor, saying, “We are asking the Federal Government to remove Babalakin as Pro-Chancellor because he cannot be seen anywhere on this campus from today.

“We want him removed for deliberately misinforming the Ministry of Education, which led to the cancellation of our convocation.

“His allegation was that the Council did not approve the convocation while available evidence in the minutes stated that the Council during its January 21st and 22nd meeting was informed about the convocation and it also approved the budget for the convocation.”

Ashiru further alleged that during last year’s convocation, Babalakin also caused disaffection.

“Last year, the Pro-Chancellor unilaterally stepped down the name of Professor Dele Oluwokudejo from the list of distinguished professors selected by the University Senate. He did not return the name until people went to beg him.

“Our Congress declared that he has done incalculable damage to the image of the University and should be removed,” he reiterated.

The union had earlier condemned the suspension of the planned 51st convocation ceremony of the institution, describing it as wicked, inhumane and retrogressive.

The Council had also insisted that the University did not get the Council’s approval for the convocation programme.

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