unilag vc debacle: more support pour in, as right groups demands justice.


The bizarre removal of Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe from his position as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos has continued to garner more support as both the Northern Rights Civil Group and Civil Society of Nigeria has added their voice calling for his immediate reinstatement. Both organisations spoke through their presidents Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammed and Chief Vincent Egenti. They warned of grave consequences if the impasse is not resolved immediately. In separate press statements and interviews, they described the removal as both unconstitutional and disastrous; in particular, they said the action was as infantile and undemocratic. They insisted that the process adopted was as abusive as it was utterly retrogressive and a negation of the rule of law. They dismissed as puerile the allegations that Professor Ogundipe was guilty of gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office. “That’s cheap blackmail”, riled Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammed. “Professor Ogundipe is a man of proven character, imbued with strong integrity and sense of purpose”, insisted Alhaji Ibrahim. He said Professor Ogundipe could not have been found wanting in his job since he was an integral part of the rebuilding process. They said the University is not a playground for such mischief and cannot be a platform for exercising dictatorship. “The University is a sacred place; what cannot be sustained should be avoided; the purported removal of Prof Ogundipe must be reversed and must be recalled with immediate effect”, they charged. The groups particularly insisted that the Governing Council should not hide under any disguise to foist their illegal agenda on Nigerians. For example, why did they not adopt the open ballot system if what they were doing was right? “The proper thing to do was to first warn, sanction or suspend him instead of outright removal”, stated Ibrahim. They, therefore, called on the University Alumni Association to throw their weight behind Ogundipe and not shy away from the truth. The committee of Vice-Chancellors should also step in at this point to avoid further controversy. “They must not think that it is Ogundipe’s problem alone”, adding that whatever affects one affects the other. “If the Labour Unions cannot interfere, we are going to mobilise our members to the University grounds and openly demonstrate against unjust practices”, warned Alhaji Ibrahim. “We demand that justice be done without further delays”, declared Alhaji Ibrahim. “The Pro-Chancellor should allow democratic means to be used to settle this civil issues”, he added.