The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) University of Lagos (UNILAG) branches have declared support for the institution’s Registrar, Mr. Oladejo Azeez, who refused to carry out directives of the Federal Ministry of Education on the selection of an Acting Vice-Chancellor.
The two unions also expressed confidence in Dr. Wale Babalakin’s leadership as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council.
Their position was contained in their joint memorandum to the special Visitation Panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the crisis rocking the university.
In the document submitted last Wednesday, they faulted the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which they initially stood with in condemning the removal of the former Vice-chancellor Prof. Toyin Ogundipe by the Council on August 12, for ‘attacking’ the office of the Registrar and declaring Babalakin a persona non grata.
The unions wrote: “The Joint Action Congress (JAC of SSANU and NASU) sees the assault on the office of the registrar as unfair, unacceptable and condemnable. The assaults included: a) Usurpation of Registrar’s duties; b) Verbal attack on Registrar’s person by ASUU as read in newspapers, just to ridicule the office.
“ASUU needs to be more urbane in its pronouncement. Declaring the Pro-Chancellor Persona non grata was rather unfortunate.
“Finally, the Visitation panel must understand that JAC of SSANU and NASU is pleased with the Council led by Dr. Wale Babalakin for the obvious reason that he was committed to staff welfare issues.”
On the other hand, ASUU faulted Oladejo for trying to stop the Senate from meeting to select an Acting Vice-Chancellor. The Union chairman Dr. Dele Ashiru told The Nation that the Registrar went too far trying to lock members of the Senate out of the Ade Ajayi Main Auditorium to prevent their meeting on August 24.
The union also said Babalakin remains a persona non-grata and seeks his removal as Council chairman.
Other issues that SSANU and NASU wish the visitation panel would address include: the stagnation/non promotion of non-teaching workers; the discrimination against non-teaching staff in the allocation of staff residential quarters; among others.