The Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo has been closed down indefinitely following the inability of the government to meet the demands of its staff union including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Academic Staff Union (NASU).
Some of the demands of the staff unions include: the appointment of an acting vice-chancellor to preside over the convocation that would have been held last week and right the wrong allegedly done by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa’s including the victimisation of its members, withdrawal of certificates of lecturers and abuse of due process by the university’s management.
The closure, according to reports, might not be unconnected with the crises that had been rocking the 30-year-old institution with the unions being at loggerheads with the VC over several issues.
It had also passed a vote-of-no-confidence on him several months ago.
Last week, staff unions, including the SSANU and NASU, had staged a mass protest where Obafunwa was successfully booted out.
During the protest at the institution’s campus in Ojo, Obafunwa, who gained entrance with the aid of security officials, was chased out with sachet of water thrown at him.
Addressing members of ASUU at an emergency congress meeting before heading for a meeting with the state government, the association’s President, Adekunle Idris, noted that the university community was tired of the administration of Obafunwa, adding that he had tried to cripple the association with attempts to freeze its account and stopp its check-off dues of the association.
Stating the demands of ASUU to be tabled before the state government, the association’s president said the demands remained the same.
He noted that Obafunwa would not preside over the university’s convocation.
According to him, “Convocation can proceed if an acting vice-chancellor is appointed” he said.
“The four months balance of our arrears of increment should be paid. The new acting vice chancellor must take care of the victimisation, withdrawal of certificates and other issues.
“Process for the appointment of a new vice-chancellor on a one term basis must begin now. Abuse of due process as members of different academic associations elected into the senate of the university must be allowed to sit.
“About N3.2 billion belonging to LASU from the intervention fund should be accessed. The new VC should set up a budget monitoring committee which Professor Obafunwa had refused to set up must be put in place to so as to assess the fund.
“The inappropriate promotion of some staffs and appointment must be reviewed or reversed.”
He also stated that staff members accused of embezzlement must be investigated and punished.
The association, however, declared that following the protests by NASU, which he said could have led to the lynching of the former vice chancellor and some other principal officials of the university, it might be forced to suspend lectures as the association does not support physical attacks on any academic staff.
In a related development, the institution has declared election recess.
The Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Ronke Osho, said in a text message to THISDAY that, “In view of the forthcoming national and state elections scheduled for March 28 and April 11, respectively, the university management of LASU has declared a recess for both staff and students with effect from on Monday 23, 2015. Students and staff are therefore advised to vacate the campus immediately. The date of the resumption will be announced later.