UNILAG suspends 51st convocation ceremonies

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Barely four days after announcing its 51st Convocation programme, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka-Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria, has suspended the five-day programme hitherto scheduled to start March 9, 2020.

ConsumerConnect gathered that a circular on the institution’s Web site signed by Mr. Oladejo Azeez, the University’s Registrar, did not give any specific reason for the suspension.

However, a disclosed memo addressed to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and signed by Sonny Ochono, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education (FME), noted that Dr. Wale Babalakin, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of UNILAG, had informed Malam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister for Education, in a letter dated March 2, 2020, that the programme was not approved by the Governing Council.

The letter titled: “Re: Invitation to the 2019 Convocation Ceremony of the University of Lagos” reads: “The attention of the Honourable Minister has been drawn to the attached copy of letter dated 2nd of March, 2020, from the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. B.O. Babalakin to the effect that the 2019 convocation ceremonies were not approved by the Governing Council in line with the laws of the University.

“I am to, therefore, request that you kindly advise the Vice-Chancellor to suspend the convocation and ensure full compliance with due process.”

The Nation also reports that attempts to reach Prof. Toyin Ogundipe, Vice-Chancellor, UNILAG, and Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, Deputy Registrar, Information and Protocol, to confirm rumours of the postponement of the convocation got no response from the University authorities.

On Thursday, however, the source reported that Mrs. Oloyede confirmed the postponement, and said the University would release its official statement Thursday night.

“I did not respond to your message because I did not want to. The convocation has been postponed. We will send an official statement tonight,” she said.

A source hinted that there has been no love lost between the University Management, led by Prof. Toyin Ogundipe and the Governing Council in the running of the University.

In 2019, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian House of Representatives had to intervene to settle crisis generated by the disaffection between both parties.

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