Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Lagos, Akoka, Dr. Wale Babalakin has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNILAG branch to disrupt the proposed council meeting on Wednesday.
In a statement signed by the Registrar, Dr. Oladejo Azeez, Babalakin advised law abiding university community and Nigerians to discountenance the action of the leadership of ASUU UNILAG branch and go about their legitimate duties as they will be protected under the law of the Federation.
ASUU UNILAG branch in a statement on Saturday, July 11 warned that Babalakin is not welcome to the campus based on the March 11 vote of no confidence passed on him and also declare the council chairman persona non grata.
The statement titled: Re: Threat by ASUU to disrupt the Governing Council Meeting, Babalakin wondered why the union would fix it congress same day and same venue, adding ”the attention of the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr Babalakin, has been drawn to the notice of congress by ASUU UNILAG branch, scheduled for Wednesday, 15th of July, 2020 at the Foyer of the Council Chambers.”
Babalakin said Council had earlier issued a notice for the meeting on the same July 15, 2020 and stressed that the meeting, apart from being statutory was also requisitioned by the vice chancellor of the university, noting ”the VC, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, recently requisitioned the meeting to the chairman of the governing council, Dr Babalakin on May 11, 2020 and June 26, 2020 respectively.”
According to him, the time and topic by ASUU for their congress clearly indicate the union’s plan to disrupt the Council meeting, especially since it has issued several threats to prevent the pro chancellor from entering the campus.
”This action is violently against the provision of Section 41, subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) (Fourth Alteration), which guarantees freedom of movement of Nigerians within Nigeria. ASUU as a trade union under the laws of Nigeria is also expected to know that Section 4 of the Trade Union Act states that “No person shall subject any other person to any form of constraint or restriction in the course of persuasion,” Babalakin observed.
He further observed that ASUU UNILAG branch has shown clearly that it is a group that does not adhere to the Constitution of Nigeria or the Trade Union law which it is a part of. The chairman said as a responsible Council, it will not engage the union on issues that are beyond its duties, powers and responsibilities under the laws of Nigeria.
His words: ”We therefore advice all law abiding Nigerians to discountenance the action of the leadership of ASUU UNILAG branch and go about their legitimate duties as they will be protected under the laws of the federation.”