The Lagos State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Friday called on the governing council of the university to re-open the institution.
The university was closed on March 23 because of the general elections.
The chairman of the chapter, Adekunle Idris, made the appeal at a news conference in Lagos.
He described the closure of the institution as illegal and unnecessary.
Mr. Idris said the union had maintained that declaring an open-ended recess and aborting academic activities without approval by the senate of the university was illegal in a university system.
“In the tradition of the union, the union feels obligated to update stakeholders and the general public on developments in LASU,” he said. “Following various acts of impunity, disregard for LASU laws and regulations and general ineptitude on the part of the vice-chancellor of the institution to move the university forward. The LASU community sent away the VC on March 16.
“While this was on, the ASUU members continued their normal duties, teaching, doing research and community services unabated. Surprisingly, the VC in the university bulletin, dated March 23, directed that in view of the forthcoming national and state elections, scheduled for March 28 and April 11, 2015, respectively.
“The management of LASU has declared a recess for both staff and students with effect from March 23. Students are therefore, advised to vacate the campus immediately. The date of resumption will be announced later. Till date, over three weeks after the illegal recess was declared, the university administration has kept our students at home. It is now six days after the last of the general elections. Worse still, declaring a recess for the purpose of elections when all other state universities in the country remained in session including Lagos State owned institutions is unexplainable.”
Mr. Idris said since the end of elections on April 11, the students had lost another week of academic activities without any pronouncement on resumption date.
“To later collapse the academic calendar without regard for adequate coverage of the curriculum just so as to push out graduates,” he said. “We, therefore, urge all stakeholders and the general public to appeal to the authorities to re-open the University for Academic Activities to resume immediately.”
The union said that government should also resume dialogue with all staff unions in the university.
“Information reaching the union has it that the university administration is trying to lure students into the matter between the workers and the VC,” Mr. Idris said. “We wish to state clearly that our members were teaching our students and the university was running uptill March 23 when the recess was declared. Conflict between staff members and university administration which does not affect students’ academic activities is not the business of the students.
“Students are in school primarily to study, we urge parents and guardians and the general public to educate their wards well so that they are not used by the university administration for selfish interest.”