Ayo Olowe, a former chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has dismissed the entry restriction on Wale Babalakin, the embattled chairman of the varsity’s governing council.
Babalakin’s disagreement with the management of the institution had prompted the suspension of the varsity’s 51st convocation after the former claimed due process wasn’t followed on its planning.
The members of the ASUU’s UNILAG chapter had also passed a vote of no confidence on the pro-chancellor amid a protest, declaring the academic a persona non grata on the campus.
But in a statement on Monday, Olowe said the decision didn’t represent the stance of the majority of the stakeholders involved.
Describing the entry prohibition on Baabalakin as “provocative, disrespectful, and illogical,” the statement said that the union has procedures for presenting grievances including dialogue and due process.
“ASUU respects the rule of law especially the constitution of Nigeria which guaranteed the free movement of all Nigerians within Nigeria. Thus, the purported threat on the movement of the pro-chancellor, Dr.Wale Babalakin is not in line with the tradition and constitution of ASUU,” it said.
“As a union, ASUU has a formal procedural way of presenting its grievances, always dialogues and follows due process. Dr. Babalakin, an illustrious alumnus of UNILAG, has since his assumption of office as pro-chancellor, been playing an outstanding role in his oversight functions.
“We, along with the majority of the stakeholders of the university, have full confidence in the leadership of Dr. Wale Babalakin’s led Council. We also dissociate ourselves from any act or action capable of obstructing the oversight function of the Dr. Wale Babalakin-led council.
“We want to assure him of free movement within UNILAG and any other part of Nigeria. It is possible that there could be conflict between ASUU and the University, we will talk to our members to follow the tradition and Constitution of ASUU in pursuing grievances with the University.”
The statement, according to Olowe, was signed on behalf of three professors — Yomi Akinyeye, Lai Olurode and Nwabueze — and some other senior lecturers of the varsity.
In an earlier statement, ASUU had described the suspension of the convocation as wicked, inhuman and retrogressive.
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