The Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Lagos chapter, has threatened a showdown with its Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin, if he attempts to visit the university.
The union stated this in a statement signed by the UNILAG ASUU Chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru, adding that Babalakin would be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order his presence would cause on the campus.
UNILAG has been embroiled in a union and leadership crisis with ASUU, the Governing Council, Babalakin and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities at the centre.
It had been reported in May 2019 that SSANU criticised ASUU for being insincere, while lamenting that the institution’s finances were being run by a cabal and Babalakin should overhaul the system.
Deepening the crisis, ASUU had also on March 2020 passed a vote of no confidence in Babalakin, saying he was a persona non grata on the campus.
ASUU stated on Saturday in a statement that it had mobilised to oppose a council meeting being called by Babalakin on the campus.
Ashiru said, “The attention of our union has been drawn to a surreptitious Council meeting summoned by Dr Wale Babalakin. He should be advised to rethink his intention of entering the University of Lagos campus as his presence may rupture the long cherished peace and tranquility on our campus.”
“He should also be held squarely responsible for any breakdown of law and order which his presence on our campus may create. Meanwhile, all members of our great Union in the university have been fully mobilised and put on alert.”
Ashiru maintained that the vote of no confidence passed on Babalakin’s status on account of his alleged cancellation of the university’s convocation ceremonies has not been vacated by the Congress of ASUU.
While reacting to the threat by UNILAG ASUU, Babalakin’s spokesman, Mikail Mumuni said freedom of movement is a fundamental human right of every Nigerian, adding that ASUU has no authority to declare Babalakin persona non grata.
“They don’t have the authority to do that. Unilag is owned by the Federal Government. Dr Babalakin is representing the Federal Government as Chairman of the Council. ASUU members are staff of unilag. Employees cannot declare their employers persona non grata at their place of work,” he said.