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UNILAG convocation: Ex-minister, ASUU, PTA react to controversial postponement

Chukwuebuka.NwaforChukwuebuka Nwafor
  • 9 Mar '20

Stakeholders have expressed concern over the sour relationship between the management and governing council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

This followed the postponement of the institution’s convocation ceremonies slated to begin on Monday, March 9 and end on March 12.

A former Minister of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaji, told NAN that there must be mutual respect between the management and council.

She said what remained paramount was the pursuit of a common goal for the good of not just the students but the country at large.

Adeolu Ogunbanjo, Deputy National President, National-Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), appealed to both parties to give room for growth and development.

“There is a need for both of them to stand as a unit and speak with one voice, pursue a common cause, show respect for each other and forge ahead”, he told NAN.

“What has happened is unfortunate and it is the students and their parents that will always suffer it,” he said.

In its reaction, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNILAG branch, said the development was unfortunate.

A statement by the Chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru, noted that the chapter “received with rude shock, the news of the postponement of the 51st convocation ceremonies of the university scheduled for March 9 to March March 12, barely four days to its commencement.

“Preliminary investigations by our union reveal that the postponement was occasioned by the pro-chancellor’s unilateral complaint to the Ministry of Education that the 2019 convocation ceremonies were not approved by the council, contrary to available evidence.

“What has just happened is an evil wind that will blow no one any good. Else, how can one explain the postponement of convocation ceremonies without any consideration for the psychological trauma this may cause the graduands, their parents, relatives and the image and reputation of the university.

“This is apart from the huge human, material and financial resources that has been committed to planning the ceremony.

“That the Ministry of Education could also quickly request the Executive Secretary of the NUC to advise the vice chancellor to suspend the university’s convocation ceremonies without investigating the veracity of the claim is highly depressing,’’ he lamented.