UNILAG: FG Inaugurates 7-Man Panel To Probe Crisis •Says Buhari Has No Personal Interest

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THE Federal Government on Wednesday inaugurated a seven-man special presidential visitation panel to look into the crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The panel, led by Professor Tukur Sa’ad, is mandated to complete its assignment and submit within two weeks as well as come up with recommendations towards repositioning the institution to its pride of place in the Nigerian university system.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who inaugurated the panel in Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari as the visitor to the UNILAG had no personal interest other than the interest of the university. Other members are  Victor Onuoha, Professor Ikenna Onyido, Professor Ekanem Braide, Professor Adamu K Usman, Chief Jimoh Bankole and Grace Ekanem, who is to serve as secretary.

He said the chairman and members of the panel were carefully selected in recognition of their integrity, track records and antecedents in university management and leadership. He, therefore, urged all stakeholders in UNILAG to fully cooperate with the panel and allow it to work unhindered, saying he was confident that members of the visitation panel would bring to bear their expertise in university administration in the discharge of the task.

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He expressed concern that over the past one year, the ministry had been inundated with complaints and correspondences from the management and the governing council of the university as well as the National Assembly on lingering governance issues, including allegations of financial infractions and breach of responsibilities.

Adamu noted that the face-off had lingered unabated, in spite of several interventions by the leadership of the Federal  Ministry of Education, many stakeholders and the National Universities Commission (NUC), eventually leading to the removal of Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as vice-chancellor by the university’s governing council, led by the chairman of the council, Dr Wale Babalakin, during its meeting of Wednesday, August 12.

“The council thereafter appointed an acting vice-chancellor to fill the void. It is instructive to note that the decision of the council, instead of stabilising the university, only managed to open up a plethora of accusations and counter-accusations.

“Due process was alleged not to have been followed by the removal and appointment of the vice-chancellor and the acting vice-chancellor, respectively. “This led to the widespread protests, outright rejection and lack of acceptability of the acting vice-chancellor by the university community. “The president and visitor to the university after due consideration of the report of the crisis in the university, particularly the polarization and unhealthy relationship among the vice-chancellor, chairman and pro-chancellor, and some members of the governing council approved the constitution of a seven-man special visitation panel to the institution,” he said.

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Source: Trinbune Nigeria

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