ASUU urges Pro-Chancellors of Universities to respect extant laws

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on Pro-Chancellors of Universities to seek and strengthen the cordial working relationship with other organs of the institutions in order to maintain lasting peace and stability in the system.

The union’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos. Ogunyemi was speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing dispute between the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr Wale Babalakin, and principal officers of the institution.

According to him, there is a need for respect for each other, as well as respect for extant laws and rules guiding the operations of persons as appointed bylaws in the universities.

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This, he said, was for the purpose of attaining a common goal.

The report says the UNILAG dispute started when the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council directed the University Registrar, Mr Oladejo Azeez, to issue queries to over eight principal officers of the institution, including the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

Other principal staff who received similar queries were two Deputy Vice Chancellors, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola and Prof. Oluwole Familoni.

Others were the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Rahamon Bello and Dr (Mrs) Taiwo Ipaye, immediate past Registrar of the institution, among others.

The separate queries were said to be related to financial misappropriation and travelling without permission, among other issues.

According to Ogunyemi, there must be a sense of orderliness in institutions of higher learning, especially the universities, in order to maintain peace and stability.

“We are currently studying the situation on the ground and at the appropriate time, we will make our own pronouncement.

“We have asked for a comprehensive report from our UNILAG branch of the union which we have received accordingly and we are studying it carefully.

“Union is also aware that the branch has written to the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

“And so, we are aware of all these and we are trying to study the report carefully. So, we want to take our time to study the reports and then make our stand known to the general public,’’ the unionist said.

NAN reports that efforts to get the views of the affected principal officers on the issue proved abortive as they were not taking their calls.

However, one of the affected principal officers of the institution who eventually spoke with NAN but pleaded anonymity said that the entire scenario was the handiwork of detractors.

The officer noted that with time, the truth shall prevail and their opinions on the issue would be made public.

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