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Babalakin Obsessed With The Vice-Chancellor's Removal By Alabi Azeez

Published by Sahara Reporters on Sun, 29 Mar 2020


As expected, the Vice Chancellor's response on the barrage of lies that Babalakin tried to peddle about the suspension of the 51st convocation of the university, elicited anger and rage from a faceless and dishonest 'Concerned Stakeholders' and a group of delinquent non-academic staff making scrupulous releases requesting for the Vice Chancellor to proceed on leave, because, for them Babalakin has an intimidating resum and commands national respect.A cursory look at the individuals issuing these publications will tell exactly why they have taken such an undistinguished position. Interestingly, they could not use the SSANU platform which they have tried tirelessly in the pass to desecrate. The team is led by Mr Adetomiwa Adekola, who was impeached as SSANU Chairman on account of his financial recklessness and dubious land scheme he purchased for SSANU members. He is assisted by a rag tag, Mr Babatunde Oseni, who the SSANU electoral committee disqualified from contesting election into any SSANU executive position on account of his terrible records of service in the university.What sort of stakeholders are these' Whose interest do they actually represent' Certainly not the interest of any known group in the university, but that of their paymaster who is hell bent on destroying the university.Their position is not only laughable but also pedestrian and lacking in any form of logical reasoning. How can anyone contemplate the exit of a Vice-Chancellor who has achieved so much in two years, even under the worst of conditions' Maybe these fellows need a reminding that it was the selflessness and ingenuity of Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe that brought the University of Lagos to number one in Nigeria and eighth in Africa. The university during his Vice Chancellorship has attracted about N8bn in research grants. He created the much needed atmosphere for students to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Under Prof Ogundipe's watchful eyes, the students and staff have won several international laurels and have become globally relevant. The renaissance of the research culture in the university is largely attributed to the Vice-Chancellor's zeal to make UNILAG a research-based university. His tenure has given the University more international visibility and global respect. It is not surprising that even Mr Adekola and his cohorts rightly referred to the Vice Chancellor as a 'scholar and administrator of repute.' This is particularly so because he singlehandedly won a lot of research grants as a scholar; and to the admiration of many, he has held various key administrative position in his over 30years in the services of the university. On the flip side we have a Pro Chancellor who has done everything in the last three years to give the university bad image and publicity.Think for one minute, if Prof Ogundipe is the problem, why was Mr Babalakin also at logger heads with Prof Bello' If there is anything we should do at this material time, it is to praise the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ogundipe, who in two years turned the fortune of the university around. Calling for him to take leave is pathetic and signs of the failings of the Pro Chancellor.On the part of the Registrar, his Council Resolution Part 2 is a very interesting revelation. The reasons are not farfetched. He made a fair but failed attempt to divert the minds of the public away from the issue that made the university a subject of ridicule in the last three weeks ' The suspension of the 51stconvocation of the university. Mr Babalakin's grand intention was to show the university management how powerful and highly connected he is by cancelling the convocation at the detriment of over 13,000 graduating students and then turned around to blame the Vice Chancellor and NUC. But the ploy failed woefully. The public saw clearly what went down, at least the letter from the Ministry of Education puts it pretty clear that the event was suspended at the instance of Mr Babalakin who claimed the ceremonies did not receive Council's blessings.The alumni and stakeholders who were tired of Babalakin's repressive leadership style took to the social media to express their dissatisfactions and frustrations. The #saveMyUnilag trended for days on Twitter and Facebook. For many, it was crystal clear what the agenda was ' a show of power. As Simon Kolawole succinctly puts it in his write-up, Babalakin the Bully, ''[Babalakin] he has gone too far by his latest power show which has forced Unilag to suspend its convocation'his ego fight at the expense of the graduating students and their families is ungodly.'Secondly, the Resolution threw up a host of issues which he claimed was discussed at the Council meeting. One of such was the 'Greek gift' of 40 Hectares of land at Ogudu being proposed by the Pro Chancellor. First question to ask, is this not the same piece of land in dispute with the state government for many years' Little wonder the property has no title documents or survey. This is aptly validated by the Registrar's statement that 'it was resolved that steps be taken to retrieve the title documents and that Council should be updated' Haba! Now that he could not get contracts from Unilag, Babalakin has resulted to swindling Unilag staff of their meagre salary' It is important to urge Unilag staff to be vigilant and 'shine their eyes' on this land matter o!!! Don't forget the issue of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway contract given to him, he did not do the job, yet collected huge sum of money to even accept to let go of the contract. Not even the road in Ondo State.Nigeria is yet to know when Babalakin will fully handover MM2 to government as we are not sure if he will not again change the end of concession date as he did previously. Besides, even if they come up with fake papers for the land, the purported land is located in a swampy environment and a professor who earns the highest salary in the university will struggle to put up a foundation for any building there.Pages 3-6 of the resolution was largely on financial matters. This Council led by Babalakin should be ashamed of its conducts! Throughout last year, the University was on a standstill over allegations that a sum over N4bn was misappropriated, embezzled, squandered, lavished and stolen by the university management. In fact, the song on Babalakin's lips was 'catch am, catch am, thief, thief, thief, catch am, catch am, robber, robber.'The same Council, led by same Babalakin, in less than a year, is now publishing a resolution that money is no longer missing, albeit, the University Managements (past and present) have saved far too long and too much to the tune of N9bn in the TSA account of the university! Then the Council goes on to propose a lavish spending of the savings meant for the DLI building, School of Foundation Studies building, College of Medicine and School of Postgraduate Studies building. How can you make money saved for more than five years for capital projects available for spending'Babalakin is definitely set out to destroy the 25-year strategic plan that the Vice Chancellor swore to up hold, in one sweep! Babalakin has not facilitated any building to the university and yet he wants to share the money saved in the university development account by more than three Vice Chancellors to construct educational edifices for the great citadel of learning. Our dear Pro Chancellor needs to take a cue from what his counterpart in Obafemi Awolowo University is doing.As any right discerning person can already see, Babalakin is trying hard to play the welfare game to divide and rule the staff of the university, further entrenching the acrimony, bad blood, discord and division that he already created in in the university. He is also struggling hard to divert attention away from the convocation issue. This is the biggest shame of leadership.It is distasteful that the UNILAG Council matter has suddenly become a gutter matter that any individual can pick up on the streets of Lagos. Let us advise Council to stop wasting resources in printing resolutions. The next Council meeting should hold at the Main Bowl of the Sports Centre where all members of the university community, alumni and press can witness the plenary.For many of us who are watching gleefully, the management of the university must be praised, in spite of all the grandstanding and unnecessary brinkmanship, the university rose to first in Nigeria and eighth in Africa.No body and no lies can change what we already know, Babalakin cancelled the University of Lagos 51st convocation four days to the event.On a lighter note or perhaps as a matter of national importance, the Pro Chancellor, Mr Babalakin was alleged to be in London on 11th March for Justice Oguntade's birthday, he subsequently denied traveling to London but confirmed he was in Germany on medical trip. Whether London or Germany, since hiOpinionAddThis:Original Author:Alabi AzeezDisable advertisements:
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