PREMIUM TIMES can confirm that the 24th convocation ceremony of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, has been postponed indefinitely.
The decision, which is in response to the rampaging Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), was taken at an emergency management meeting on Thursday.
This is as the authorities at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has concluded plans to shut down their own campus until further notice.
The LASU management had, last Friday, announced the schedule of activities to mark its 24th convocation ceremony where a total of 8,959 graduands are expected to bag certificates in various degree programmes and diplomas.
The university had also announced that the ceremony, scheduled to hold between 20 and 27th of March, would feature the conferment of honorary degrees on six prominent Nigerians including Oluremi Tinubu, wife of former Governor Bola Tinubu; Ọba Otudeko, and Segun Agbaje, among others.
But following the directive by the state government that schools should shut down in the state from Monday, March 23, the university management found it Imperative to take what it described as proactive decision.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, a top member of the university management, who did not want to be named, noted that school took the decision at about 1 p.m on Thursday.
The source said; “Yes, that is the final decision. The management meeting is still on but a conclusion has been reached on the convocation which is indefinite postponement.
“The truth is that if we had decided to continue with our programmes, who would have loved to take the risk to attend among both the graduands and the dignitaries? Thank God we have not recorded any case with a link to the university as at now, so the best thing to avoid it is to observe all the cautionary measures.”
The source added that the university was awaiting the final nod from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu before making the official announcement.
“You know, the governor is the Visitor, it is important to take him into confidence. Remember that the decision is also in line with his administration’s order to suspend all gatherings with more than 50 people?” the source added.
It would be recalled that in spite of the declaration of two-week industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to protest what it describes as government’s consistent failed promises, the Union members in LASU had continued with their business unhindered.
There had been running battles between the union and the management of the university, even as ASUU recently declared the university’s Vice-chancellor, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, ‘persona non grata’ across university campuses nationwide.
ASUU had reacted to what it termed unjust sack of its members and leadership of the union in the university.
So, it was unclear as at the time of filing this report if the university will suspend both administrative and academic activities so that students could reunite with their families.
The source added that the meeting was still on and that all options would be fully considered before arriving at a logical conclusion.
Meanwhile, the University of Lagos is shutting down for three weeks beginning from today.
The management took the decision at an emergency management meeting on Thursday afternoon.
It would be recalled that following conflict between the university’s governing council chairman and the vice-chancellor, Wale Babalakin and Oluwatoyin Ogundipe respectively, the institution’s 51st convocation ceremony had been postponed indefinitely.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, the university’s vice-chancellor said the meeting where the decision would be taken was still on as at Thursday afternoon.
However, a source privy to the discussions at the meeting, but who craved anonymity, said the university was shutting down.
“Yes, UNILAG is shutting down for three weeks. ASUU has been on strike for three weeks now a d heaven didn’t fall. So is it when the decision is most needed to avert bigger crisis that we would now say no? A statement will soon be issued to confirm this,” the source said.
When called on the phone to confirm the development, the head of the university’s public relations department, Mrs.Taiwo Oloyede, rejected our reporter’s call, indicating she was busy.