There is palpable tension in the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka over the proposed Governing Council meeting on Wednesday because of the Coronavirus pandemic still ravaging the country.
Another major reason for the tension is the insistence of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNILAG branch that the Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin will not be allowed into the campus based on the vote of no confidence passed on him by the congress of the union early this year.
On March 11, the union passed a vote of no confidence and also declared him persona non grata on the campus. Same day, ASUU members followed up their resolution with a protest round the campus including the main gate and the auditorium.
Confirming the situation on campus, an internal council member told Sunday Sun that it is wrong to fix the meeting during the COVID-19 scourge because majority of members will come from outside.
His words: ‘Many of the council members are above 60 years and are coming from different states. Some may have underlining health issues and before getting to UNILAG, they will come in contact with many people.”
A former council members wondered why the governing council chairman will schedule a meeting at this critical time when COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire. Some members will come from Kano, Gombe and Abuja. That is why staff are uncomfortable with the meeting.”
Meanwhile, ASUU UNILAG in a statement signed by the branch chairmen, Dr. Dele Ashiru said the attention of the union has been drawn to a surreptitious council meeting summoned by Babalakin next week.
Ashiru reminded the university community and the general public that the vote of no confidence passed on Dr. Babalakin and the persona non grata based on the cancellation of the convocation ceremonies occasioned by him has not been vacated by the congress.
He stated that “consequently, Dr Wale Babalakin should be advised to rethink his intention of entering the University of Lagos campus as his presence may rupture the long cherished peace and tranquility on our campus.
“Our union therefore respectfully call on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Abubakar Rasheed to please rein in Dr Wale Babalakin. He should also be held squarely responsible for any breakdown of law and order which his presence on our campus may create.
“All members of our union in the university have been fully mobilized and put on alert.”