By Adesina Wahab
Tension has gripped both staff and students of the Lagos State University, LASU, as the Visitor to the university, who is also the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, tarries in announcing a new Vice Chancellor for the institution.
Checks by Sunday Vanguard showed that the delay has led to various interest groups trying to meddle into how the ninth substantive VC of the school would emerge.
About a week ago, the Joint Council and Senate Selection Committee met and recommended three persons to Sanwo-Olu for consideration as the VC after a series of interviews of contenders to the post of the VC in the 37-year-old university.
The seven-member committee, headed by the Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo, recommended Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya who scored 90 percent, Prof. Sena Bakre who scored 73.5 percent and Prof. Kabir Akinyemi who scored 68.8 percent in the final round of the interview and screening exercise.
However, with the tenure of the outgoing VC, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, coming to an end on January 11, this year, many people thought the governor would have announced a new VC, but that has not been done as of press time.
The development led to groups and individuals trying to influence the governor on who to choose.
“Some people say if the governor should choose Odusanya who came first in the screening exercise it would mean the VC and maybe one or two other principal officers of the university would be from Epe. Also, they are saying if he appoints Akinyemi, he will be from the same Ikorodu as the Chairman of Council.
‘A group from Awori is also canvassing for Prof. Mrs Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, who was not among the top three. The dilly-dally has even led to some people who are no longer in the service of the university saying none of the recommended three is qualified for the position.
“With less than 10 days to the expiration of the tenure of Fagbohun, there is nothing that should delay the announcement of his successor. A federal university in the North last week announced the emergence of a new VC that would assume office in March.
“The needless tension on campus should not have arisen in the first instance. Stakeholders have suggested a transparent process for choosing the new VC and that picking the best candidate would be better. When Fagbohun emerged five years ago as a result of being the best among the contenders, people can see the result now, the university has become better for it, ” a source told our correspondent in confidence.
Odusanya is from the College of Medicine, Akinyemi a former chairman of the local branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and Bakre is a professor of Industrial Microbiology.