The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) , has blamed the Institution’s Pro- chancellor , Dr Wale Babalakin for the indefinite postponement of its 51st Convocation , earlier scheduled for 9th-12th of March , 2020, four days to its commencement.
The Union said in a Statement it issued , titled, ‘The UNILAG Levithian, Dr. Wale Babalakin , Bears His Fangs Again’, made available to the Marine and economy, that it has received with rude shock ,the news of the postponement of the convocation, due to Dr Babalakin’s false complaint .
It said its preliminary investigations, revealed that the postponement was occasioned by the Pro-Chancellor’s unilateral complaint to the Ministry of Education that the “2019 convocation ceremonies were not approved by Council” ,contrary to available evidence.
The Statement disclosed that the Union condemns in the strongest terms, what it called the wicked, inhuman, egoistic, retrogressive, unconscionable and satanic postponement of the institution’s historic convocation ceremony on account of the over bloated ego of the Pro-Chancellor.
According to it, the latest antics of the Pro-Chancellor has further confirmed the Union’s age long fears about his alleged destructive machination for UNILAG in particular and the entire Nigerian University system in general.
The Union wondered , how it could explain the role of the Pro-Chancellor in the calamitous postponement of a convocation ceremony without any consideration for the psychological trauma this may cause the graduands, their parents, relatives, the image and reputation of the University, apart from the huge human, material and financial resources that has been committed to planning the ceremony.
The Union also described as worrisome and higly depressing , the decision of the Ministry of Education to request, by fiat , the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), to “advice the Vice Chancellor, to suspend the University’s convocation ceremony, without investigating the veracity of the Pro-Chancellor’s claim .
It described the entire situation as a blatant erosion of academic freedom and University autonomy, for which the Union has consistently fought over the years , as well as an eloquent testimony to the leadership bankruptcy at the helm of affairs of Nigeria’s educational system.
‘’ But for this kind of leadership, Leviathan like Dr Wale Babalakin, who erroneously assumes that a University established by an Act of Parliament ,is an extension of his law firm, would not have any business, superintending over a University’’, the Union said.