UNILAG conflict: Students seek FG’s intervention as ‘strange men’ invade school

University of Lagos (UNILAG). [Photo credit: Students Nigeria]
University of Lagos (UNILAG). [Photo credit: Students Nigeria]

Some students of the University of Lagos have called on the federal government and other key stakeholders in the university to urgently intervene in the conflict between the pro-chancellor and management of the school.

Tension has been mounting in the institution in recent times following a series of queries issued to about eight key management staff, including the Vice-Chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Registrar of the institution, Oladejo Azeez, issued the queries on the orders of the Pro Chancellor, Wale Babalakin.

The queries were said to be bordered on misappropriation of funds and travelling without permission, among other issues.

Some management staff of the university have, however, said the queries did not follow due process.

Fear on Campus

Jerry Ukazionu, a third year student of Business Administration, said urgent intervention of the federal government would avoid degeneration of the conflict.

According to him, strange persons armed and dressed in black paraded around the institution’s council chamber on Monday, creating fear in students.

“The strange men, numbering over 12, are looking combat-ready. We actually saw them taking strategic positions there.

“On inquiry, we were told that they were bouncers,’’ he told NAN.

He noted that an emergency meeting of the university’s council was slated for Monday and Tuesday at the chambers.

“We are feeling insecure with all these,” he told NAN.

Another student, Japhet Uche, also frowned at the development, and called for peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Dele Ashiru, the Chairman of the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), described the presence of the armed men as `siege’ to the campus.

According to him, the armed men were brought by Mr Babalakin.

“This whole thing is coming to us as a surprise. That the pro-chancellor can carry out such a siege on an institution of this pedigree, leaves a lot to be desired.

“We are watching keenly to see how these whole thing plays out. We condemn this in absolute terms,” he said.

Olubunmi Ajibade, a senior lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, told NAN that ASUU was not against probing anybody who violated financial regulation or operating outside his or her mandate.

He, however, said that ASUU was worried at the manner the issue was being handled.

“The whole issue is turning out to be a one-man show, and this is unacceptable by us.

“I do not have detailed information concerning this whole episode but, with what was discussed at our emergency congress, it is clear that these is a serious misapplication of power.

“When issues like this come up, it is only proper that due process is followed. You do not use your veto power to intimidate others.

“Whatever is the issue ought to have been brought for deliberation before council where many management staff are members.

“I heard they are having an emergency meeting; let us wait and see how it goes,” Mr Ajibade said.

(NAN)

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