As Lagos State University, LASU, commence a new academic session this week, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU-LASU said they have the prerogative to determine whether the Vice Chancellor remains in office or not. This was a reaction to the state governor, Babatunde Fashola’s statement at the 2, 900 days celebration alleging that the crisis affecting the institution was that “some people (unions) are demanding that they want to decide when to remove and replace the VC, and that isn’t their prerogative.
Their responsibility is to teach our children and not to choose the vice chancellor.” The governor added that “this happens whenever the tenure of the VC of the institution is about to come to an end; that is when the crisis starts.
But no one can sit down and say that after one term, he must go. That will not work; that is not what the work envisages. The union should sheathe its sword and stop being part of the problem, rather they should be part of the solution.”
The union alleged that their allegations were genuine and that the government was bias in addressing the issue. Chairman of SSANU LASU, Mr. Oseni Saheed in an interview lamented that the Unions were castigated by the government for standing against issues bordering on the progress of the institution. According to Oseni “As a stakeholder, we deserve to have input in who should be the Vice Chancellor of the institution. If someone is administering a university and he isn’t doing it well.
“Whoever wants to administer the institution must treat us like human beings and not slaves. We understand that the government decides who is chosen as the Vice Chancellor of the school but that doesn’t mean that if the Vice Chancellor is going out of order, we cannot raise concerns. If we fail to raise concerns, we will not have a functioning citadel of learning.
“We have leveled allegations against the Vice Chancellor and what we believe the government should do is investigate if they are genuine or not. “We have accused the Vice Chancellor of high handedness, double standard, victimization and violating due process in the appointment of staff. For instance, the Vice Chancellor will appoint a junior officer to lead a department when there are senior officers who are more qualified to oversee the affairs in such department.
Also, the Vice Chancellor has been appointing academic staff to head the non-teaching staff. Is that how it should be done in a university? “The Vice Chancellor has been administering the school as if it was his private establishment. A university is a place where you have people with high level of intellect. We know that all the allegations leveled against him are genuine.
“We believe that the government should verify all these allegations rather than accusing the unions for the crisis in the institution. We aren’t trouble shooters. We want peace to reign in the school. But we cannot say that because we want peace then we should allow things go wrong. “The government should investigate all these issues before the Governor and his aides accuse the unions in the school,” he added.
“Government must set up investigative committee on how peace can reign, the SSANU-LASU chairman explained that the government must set up an independent committee to investigate the allegations leveled against the Vice Chancellor.
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