The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos Zone on Tuesday threw its weight behind the protest letter written by the leadership of the union at the Lagos State University, Ojo, on the selection process of the new Vice-Chancellor.
The leadership of ASUU-LASU had written a letter of complaint to Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, describing the ongoing selection process for the institution’s 9th substantive vice-chancellor as not transparent.
The letter, dated January 1, 2021, and signed by both the secretary and his assistant, Tony Dansu and Adeolu Oyekan, respectively, also passed a vote of no confidence on the chairman of the university’s governing council, Adebayo Ninalowo.
The union had also kicked against Mr Ninalowo’s chairmanship of the selection committee and had urged the governor, who doubles as the Visitor to the institution, to cancel the selection process if the allegations that the selected candidates are unqualified for the job are found to be true.
While throwing its weight behind the ASUU-LASU letter, the zonal leadership of the union expressed displeasure over a media report which described the ASUU-LASU branch led by Dr Isaac Akinloye Oyewumi as a faction.
The Union in a statement signed by the Lagos zone Coordinator, Prof. Olusiji Sowande faulted the leadership of Ibrahim Bakare led-executives of Union, describing him as an impostor.
The union also condemned a report published by an online media, dated January 2, 2020, which described the leadership of ASUU LASU branch as a faction, saying, there is no faction of ASUU in the state.
According to Sowande, ASUU is one, and has no faction in any Nigerian University, including LASU, and operates an unbroken leadership chain from the branches, through the zone to the national body.
The statement said “the attention of the National and Zonal leadership of our Union, ASUU, has been drawn to a publication in Premium Times dated 2nd January, 2021, titled: “LASU VC Appointment: ASUU writes Sanwo-Olu, condemns selection process”, in which the ASUU National recognised leadership of the Union at the Lagos State University was described as a faction.
“While we appreciate the media for its role in the coverage of the Union’s struggles at different levels, it appears to us that the author of the publication needs to do a little more in understanding the workings of ASUU, and avoid being used by divisive elements to generate misleading narratives.
“Consequently, it is necessary to reaffirm that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is one, and has no faction in any Nigerian University, including LASU, and operates an unbroken leadership structure from the Branches, through the Zones, to the National body.
“In this unbroken chain of the Union’s leadership is the Dr Isaac Akinloye Oyewumi-led executive of Lagos State University (LASU) Branch.
“As the Chairperson of ASUU-LASU, Dr Isaac Oyewumi is still a statutory member of the National Executive Council (NEC), and has continued to represent the LASU Branch of the Union as such.
“Five out of nine current executive members (i.e. the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, and the Treasurer) of ASUU-LASU were maliciously tried on various trumped-up charges and were purportedly dismissed between 2017 and 2019.
“We urge the general public and all stakeholders to continue to ignore the Ibrahim Bakare-led group of impostors currently parading themselves as the leadership of ASUU in Lagos State University.
“They are an unknown entity to any structure, layer or organ of our Union, and have been taken to court on charges bordering on impersonation and misrepresentation.
“Our Union shall continue to strive for a university system that is fair, just, transparent, and rooted in universal values characteristic of an ideal university, specifically in LASU, and broadly, across the country.
While not averse to praising University Administration that has done well in truly preserving the integrity of the system and has dearly attended to the welfare of our members, we are at a loss as to how a group of academics wallowing in derision, purporting to be ASUU officials and led by one Bakare, could so shamefully assume the role of the mouthpiece of a Vice-Chancellor and Council under whose tenure academics were denied their entitlements.
“It smacks of patronage and a overt expression of primitive bootlicking syndrome for immediate or future crumbs off the table. Such people of easy virtues could not have been ASUU representatives and our comrades in the writing profession ought to be more discerning. ”
The outgoing VC, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun is billed to complete his five-year single term of office on January 11.