By Adesina Wahab
The no love lost relationship between members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the University of Lagos, UNILAG Branch and the Governing Council of the institution led by Dr. Wale Babalakin, SAN, may escalate this week as the union is set to hold its congress the same day the Council fixed for a meeting.
Before the new development, ASUU had declared Babalakin an unwelcomed visitor on the campus.
The UNILAG Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Dele Ashiru, had in a statement last week said Babalakin would not be welcomed on campus and both have set Wednesday for their activities on the same campus.
However, a statement by the Registrar, Mr. Oladejo Azeez, made available to our correspondent on Sunday night, decried the proposed action by ASUU and wanted against a breach of peace on campus.
“The attention of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Bolanle Olawale Babalakin , SAN has been drawn to the notice of Congress by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos branch, scheduled for Wednesday, 15th of July, 2020 at the Foyer of the Council Chambers.
“I have the instruction of the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council to inform members of the University Community and the general public as follows:
“It is important to note that Council had earlier issued a notice for the Council Meeting commencing on the same 15th of July 2020. This Council Meeting apart from being statutory was also requisitioned by the Vice-Chancellor of the University.
“The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS recently requisitioned the meeting to the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin on May 11, 2020, and June 26, 2020, respectively.
“The time and topic by ASUU for their Congress clearly indicate its plan ASUU to disrupt the Council Meeting, especially since it has issued several threats to prevent the Pro-Chancellor from coming to the University.
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.”
“Obviously, ASUU, University of Lagos Chapter 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.
“As a responsible Council, we will not engage ASUU, University of Lagos branch on issues that are beyond its duties, powers, and responsibilities under the laws of Nigeria.
“We, therefore, advise all law-abiding Nigerians to discountenance the action of the leadership of ASUU, University of Lagos branch, and go about their legitimate duties as they will be protected under the laws of the federation.”
Recall that the graduation ceremony of the institution was put on hold early this year because the Council alleged that the VC did not carry it along in the planning for the event.