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Governor Sanwo-Olu, LASU Crisis And Quest For Truth

Lagos State University Forum / Forum / News / Governor Sanwo-Olu, LASU Crisis And Quest For Truth 195 Views

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The right of the public to know the truth about the lingering crisis at the Lagos State University (LASU) has become imperative.

The news about #LASU in the last two years or so suggests frosty relationship and if not irreconcilable differences between the management of the institution and the University chapter of Academic Staff Union of the University (ASUU).

The crisis has led to the dismissals of key officials of local chapter of #ASUU under curious circumstances. It is not unexpected that University authority will insist there is no crisis in LASU after all there should be nothing unusual about disciplinary action against members of staff.

Against the backdrop of subsisting allegations against the university authority by LASU Chapter of ASUU, it would amount to denials on the part of the University authority to dismiss the crisis.

Whereas, no fewer than seven officials of the university chapter of ASUU has been dismissed over allegation of forgery of academic qualifications and sundry examination malpractices, the LASU chapter of ASUU has consistently alleged victimisation against its officials by the university management which it also accused of of mismanagement and abuse of due process.

There is the challenge in resolving what would appear a riddle on the basis of accusations and counter accusations between LASU authority and leadership of ASUU.

But what should be of interest to the public is the place of truth in the lingering brouhaha in LASU.
  • Who is telling the truth?

    To what extent is the likelihood that facts are being suppressed and for what purpose?
    Is justice done or seen to have been done by LASU authority or is the whole scenario another case of travesty of justice as claimed by ASUU-LASU?

Whatever the case, what is of paramount is that truth should not be the ultimate victim of the current face-off in the university.

Being a public institution funded with public funds, conscious steps should be taken by appropriate authorities with oversight responsibility to examine and properly situate the underlying issues in the interest of truth and justice.

It is therefore for this purpose that the visitor to the LASU, His Excellency, Governor Babajide #Sanwo-Olu should consider a critical demand by a coalition of civil society that recently staged protest to the Lagos State House of Assembly over the crisis.

It would not be correct to assume that the current management in LASU could, with utmost sense of fairness, preside over dispensation of justice considering allegations of mismanagement already in public domain.

It is even more compelling that allegations by #ASUU-LASU and its officials should be subjected to scrutiny to determine their veracity or otherwise.

This is precisely why demand of the civil society coalition for a visitation panel with mandate to unravel the cause of the crisis in line with the statute establishing the University appears to be the way out so as to ensure fairness, justice in the overall interest of university.

Since the last visitation panel on LASU was constituted in 2009, Governor Sanwo-Olu should be encouraged to undertake holistic appraisals of the situation in LASU with the view to addressing the present crisis and as well chart a bold direction for the University.

This is not the first time organised platforms of the civil society will be demanding the intervention of Lagos State Government with respect to crisis situations in LASU.

It is recalled that it took the intervention of the civil society to draw the attention of former Governor Babatunde Raji #Fashola to the far-reaching implications of astronomical increment in fees.

It is to the credit of former Governor Fashola that the increment in fees was rescinded paving the way for peace and stability in the institution.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s intervention by way of visitation panel will be a step in the right direction considering that allegations from both parties in the current crisis are not only weighty but essentially bothers on issues of integrity which if allowed to fester will negatively affect the image of the university.

Granted that the management of the University is vested with powers to discipline staff in line with rules and regulations governing the institutions, it should however be curious enough that the bulk of officials of the academic union have been expelled over allegations ranging from examination malpractices and forgery of academic credentials.

Justice demands that all categories of staff irrespective of their roles in union activities be subjected to discipline with appropriate sanctions if found guilty.

Notwithstanding, LASU chapter of ASUU has been vociferous about accusation of deliberate witch-hunt and targeted victimisation of key officials and staff considered sympathetic to its cause.

Dismissing allegation of victimisation by ASUU will only amount to denial of pervasive culture of highhandedness that has a grim history in the relationship between ASUU and university management across the country.

It is however a different thing if the affected academic staff are indeed guilty of the charges for which the University has wielded the big stick.

Whatever the case, the fact that the union and those affected have consistently maintained innocence and demanded justice is a clear indication of likelihood of miscarriage of justice; more so when the dismissed member of staff are at the forefront of demand for a probe into the activities of the management.

It would be preposterous to assume that the local chapter of ASUU is merely indulging in red-herring against the authority as a ploy to frustrate legitimate disciplinary process.

What is apposite in this case is to create the right channel where facts in respect of issues in contention could be examined so as to ascertain the extent of truths and or fabrications.

A #VisitationPanel by Governor Sanwo-Olu in exercise of his mandate as visitor to LASU will create the much needed forum for resolving the crisis at hand.

Credits: Francis Abayomi via www.independent.ng/governor-sanwo-olu-lasu-crisis-and-quest-for-truth/

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