Nigerian University Makes History, Appoints First Female Vice Chancellor

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The Senate of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Monday, appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services), Professor Folasade Ogunsola, as its acting vice-chancellor.

She is the first female to be so appointed in the history of the 58-year-old institution.

Ogunsola, a professor of Medical Microbiology and first child of Nigeria’s first professor of Geography, Akin Mabogunje, was also the first female provost of the University’s College of Medicine, Idi-Araba.

During a senate meeting held earlier to appoint an acting VC as mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ogunsola defeated her opponent and a Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of management services, Professor Ben Oghojafor, with a wide margin. She scored 135 votes as against Oghojafor’s 31 among the senate members.

A total of 167 professors were accredited to vote while one vote was voided.

In her acceptance speech, Prof. Ogunsola, who is also the chairperson of Infections Control Africa Network, and member of the Lagos State COVID-19 task force, thanked the professors for entrusting her with what she described as a huge responsibility.

“Electing me the acting vice-chancellor at such time the university is going through so much is a big task. But it is a task for all of us, and I appeal to you to help rewrite the story of this great university for good,” She said.

The University of Lagos has been embroiled in crisis, following disagreement between the Chairman of the Governing Council/Pro-Chancellor, Wale Babalakin, and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on the administration of the institution, which led to the removal of the Vice Chancellor last week by the governing council.

The council also appointed an acting vice chancellor for the university. Ogundipe however rejected his sack and dragged the council to the National Industrial Court.

President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Visitor to the university, consequently intervened by constituting a visitation panel.

The Federal Government also directed the varsity’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council and Vice-Chancellor to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the special visitation panel set up by President Buhari.

The special visitation panel, headed by Prof. Tukur Sa’ad, has as members Victor Onuoha; Prof. Ikenna Oyindo; Prof. Ekanem Braide; Prof. Adamu K. Usman; Chief Jimoh Bankole; and Grace Ekanem, who is the Secretary.

The establishment of the visitation panel was announced on the day Vice-Chancellor Ogundipe withdrew his petition from the National Industrial Court where he had gone to challenge his controversial removal by the Governing Council of the university.

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