Wale Babalakin resigns as Pro-Chancellor of UNILAG

The embattled pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Wale Babalakin, has resigned from the position.

According to Premium Times,  Babalakin’s spokesman, Mikail Mumini said his boss submitted the letter to the education minister, Adamu Adamu, in Abuja, on Thursday.

This followed the alleged disagreement with the federal government’s visitation panel sent to the university.

Babalakin has also resigned his position as the chairman of the negotiation committee on the federal government and universities’ workers’ unions, saying he will no longer be available for the role he had been playing since 2017 without a headway.

The reports said that shortly after the visitation panel that was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the crisis that had persistently rocked the university submitted its report, Babalakin visited the minister to tender his resignation letter.

His letter of resignation was addressed to the minister and copied to President Muhammadu Buhari

Babalakin said there were too many vested interests in the UNILAG leadership issue.

He thanked Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve as the Pro-Chancellor from May 2017.

Babalakin noted that recent events in the institution led to his exit.

He stated that all federal government representatives who are the independent members on the Governing Council voted for the Vice-Chancellor’s removal.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria faulted the terms of reference of the committee, noting that they were set to achieve a predetermined agenda.

Babalakin insisted that the membership of the panel was inappropriate.

“How can a committee of Vice-Chancellors determine the culpability or otherwise of the actions of a Pro-Chancellor and a Governing Council?” On the face of it, it is simply wrong! Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellors on the Panel were drawn from relatively smaller universities who are not likely to have a comprehensive understanding of the procedure contained in the University of Lagos Act (as amended).

“Even Vice-Chancellors of state universities were included. As Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team, I know the challenges faced with the administration of state universities. I only appeared before the Panel out of my very great respect for you, Sir. My training as a lawyer revealed to me very clearly, that the Panel was inappropriate for the assignment.

“During my appearance, I made it very clear that I was appearing in protest and the Panel, as constituted, could not determine the issues before it. The active participation of the staff of the Ministry of Education in the Panel and their contributions throughout the sittings especially the hounding of witnesses who came to testify against the Vice-Chancellor was enough to show very clearly that the technocrats in the Ministry had a defined agenda.

The crisis rocking the university reached the peak when on August 12 at an emergency meeting held at the National Universities Commission (NUC), in Abuja, the Babalakin-led governing council announced the removal of the institution’s substantive vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

In reaction, the president announced the composition of a seven-member visitation panel led by a former vice-chancellor of Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State, Tukur Sa’ad.

The panel also has Victor Onuoha, Ikenna Onyido, Ekanem Braide, Adamu Usman, Jimoh Bankole, and Grace Ekanem as secretary.

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