The University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, branch of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and its non-academic counterpart (NASU), as well as Parent Forum and students, have condemned the sudden postponement of the 2019 university’s convocation ceremonies already scheduled to hold between 9th- 12th March 2020.
The authorities announced the postponement on Thursday 5th of March, which was four days after holding a world press conference to kick-start the ceremony, through a statement made available to newsmen by the registrar and secretary to the council of the university, Mr Oladejo Azeez, apologizing to people concerned for any inconveniences the action (without any reason given) might have caused them.
A total of 13, 489 students across levels-certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate studies- and disciplines are billed for the graduation ceremonies out of which 281 made first-class honours.
They said the action would not only cause untold hardship to say the least to people directly affected but would also damage the university’s reputation.
It was said that the chairman of the governing council of the institution, Dr Wale Babalakin claimed he was not carried along by the management in the planning of the programme and therefore, should be postponed.
A letter from the Federal Ministry of Education to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), dated 2nd of March, 2020 and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Sunny Achono, gave an insight into the matter.
The letter, with reference number FME\PS\606\C.1\Vol.111\108 and entitled, Re: Invitation to the 2019 Convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos, stated that the attention of the Honourable Minister of Education has been drawn to the attached copy of letter dated 2nd of March, 2020 from the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr B.O. Babalakin to the effect that the 2019 convocation ceremonies were not approved by the governing council in line with the laws of the university.
Reacting to this, the ASUU’s Chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru and his NASU’s counterpart, Mr Kehinde Ajibade, told our correspondent in a separate interview yesterday, that it was not in the good interest of the graduands and their relatives, that of the university and the university education for the governing council chairman to act in the way he did.
The chairman of the parent forum group, Mr Babatunde Majekodun, however, called on all sides in the matter to resolve their differences in the interest of peace and real development of the university and the country as a whole.