Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The federal government has inaugurated the Presidential Visitation Panel saddled with the responsibility of looking into the crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who inaugurated the panel headed by Prof. Tukur Sa’ad, on behalf of President Muhammad Buhari, yesterday in Abuja, however, warned members against interference with the activities of university management.
He urged all stakeholders in the university to fully cooperate with the panel and allow it to work unhindered.
He said: “I am confident that, as members, you will bring to bear your expertise in university administration in the discharge of this task, in order to bring the institution back to the path of progress and greatness.”
The minister, who noted that “councils are to lay down policies while managements are to implement them”, regretted that: “Over the past year, the ministry has been inundated with complaints and correspondences from the management and the governing council of the University of Lagos as well as the National Assembly, on lingering governance issues in the institution, including allegations of financial infractions and breach of responsibilities.”
He insisted that like he said about a month ago when he inaugurated the reconstituted governing councils of 13 federal universities, chairmen and members of the council must ensure that they do not interfere with the day-to-day administrative activities of their respective university managements.
Recalling the crisis that bedeviled the UNILAG, Adamu regretted that, “The face-off has lingered on 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 Temitayo Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor by the University Governing Council during its meeting on Wednesday, 12th August 2020.”
Adamu who noted that the university “governing council thereafter appointed an acting vice-chancellor to fill the void”, however, regretted that “The decision of the council, instead of stabilising the University of Lagos, only managed to open up a plethora of accusations and counter-accusations.”
“Due process was alleged not to have been followed in the removal and appointment of the vice-chancellor and the acting vice-chancellor, respectively.
“The President and Visitor to the University, after due consideration of the report of the crisis in the university, particularly the polarisation and unhealthy relationship between the Vice-Chancellor and the 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 added.