By Jethro Ibileke
The purported sack of the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin, has attracted negative criticism from a group, South-East & South-South Professionals of Nigeria.
Chairman of Edo state chapter of the group, Mr. Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, called on the federal government to wade into the crisis to save the institution’s image.
He advised federal government to constitute an investigative panel, with a view to making profound recommendations to the University’s Visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said this against the backdrop of alleged abuse of office levelled against the UNILAG VC, and counter allegations of crass bias levelled against Dr. Babalakin, which he said ought to be investigated to expose those fueling crisis in the institution.
Edokpolo appealed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), to preserve the fragile peace in the academic community.
He expressed disappointment over the choice of the headquarters of the National Universities Commission (NUC), in Abuja, as venue of the emergency meeting where the UNILAG VC was reportedly sacked by those perceived to be opposed to his leadership.
According to him, “The first wonder is the choice of Nigeria University Commission building in Abuja as venue for the emergency meeting, instead of the University of Lagos, thereby portraying the NUC as aiding and abetting agent in the sack of the VC.
“For me, the President of the federal republic, acting through the SGF, should constitute an investigative panel and accordingly make profound recommendations to the University’s Visitor (President Buhari) for approval.
“Professionals must continually act in good fate, and in ways to remodel our country’s outlook in the comity of nations,” Edokpolo said.