Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has called on Nigerians to join him in appealing to lecturers at the Lagos State University (LASU) to sheath their sword in the interest of the students and parents who have made financial commitments to their children and wards. Fashola who was speaking at an occasion to mark his 1, 900 days in office attributed continued closure of the school to lecturers who are in a hurry to become Vice Chancellor of the university.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor John Obafunwa incurred wrath of the lecturers for upturning entrenched culture in the university and for recalling 17 doctorate certificates of students for erroneous certification, forcing the LASU chapter of the Academic Staff Union of University(ASUU) to call for compulsory removal of Obafunwa. Fashola made his appeal just a day after the LASU Student Union Government (SUG) appealed to Nigerians to prevail on the governor to open the university for resumption of administrative and academic activities.
“We therefore call on the civil societies, and the world at large to help us appeal to the State Government to reopen Lagos state University for commencement of academics and administrative activities and do away with propaganda and incorrect allegations for the sake of our students populace, for the sake of posterity, for the prolonged recess is already taking its toll on them, especially our various final year students, particularly our final year Law students, who must proceed on a compulsory one year programme at the Nigeria Law school, to allow them meet up with the October Law school calendar”, Public Relations Officer of LASU SUG, Mr. Adebanjo Fatai said in a press statement.
But the Lagos State Governor however believes that the ball lies in the court of the lecturers Fashola said he met a law that allows the Vice Chancellor to run for two terms of four years against a one term VC which the lecturers are agitating for.
“So why throw him away if he turns out to be good?”, he queried. The governor said the law envisaged the reappointment of a VC if his performance is satisfactory and practically turned down request by the lecturers to sack Obafunwa whose tenure is expected to expire in October. Fashola said it is not the prerogative of lecturers to say when to remove the VC. “That is not their prerogative.
Their prerogative is to teach”, he said. The governor thanked the first executive governor of Lagos State, Mr. Lateef Kayode Jakande whom he said documented Visitor as the sole role of the governor of the state, adding that it is only in Nigeria that governors and presidents are called upon to intervene in university crisis.
The governor attributed backlog of certificates in the school to prolong recess occasioned by strikes adding that shutting down the systems leaves a lot of work undone which puts the system under pressure on resumption to catch up with the time that is lost.
He said that there are students who claim to have completed their course work for graduation when in real sense they are not qualified for graduation.