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ASUU demands re-opening of LASU

THE Lagos State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU-LASU) called on the governing council of the university to re-open the institution without further delay.
The university was closed on March 23 because of the general elections.
The chairman of the chapter, Adekunle Idris, made the appeal at a news conference in Lagos.
He described the closure of the institution as illegal and unnecessary.
Mr. Idris said the union had maintained that declaring an open-ended recess and aborting academic activities without approval by the senate of the university was illegal in a university system.
“In the tradition of the union, the union feels obligated to update stakeholders and the general public on developments in LASU,” he said.
“Following various acts of impunity, disregard for LASU laws and regulations and general ineptitude on the part of the vice-chancellor of the institution to move the university forward, the LASU community sent away the VC on March 16.
“While this was on, the ASUU members continued their normal duties, teaching, doing research and community services unabated. Surprisingly, the VC in the university bulletin, dated March 23, directed that in view of the forthcoming national and state elections, scheduled for March 28 and April 11, 2015, respectively.
A release by the information office of the Vice –Chancellor dated March 23, 2015 reads:
“The management of LASU has declared a recess for both staff and students with effect from March 23. Students are therefore, advised to vacate the campus immediately. The date of resumption will be announced later”.
“Till date, over three weeks after what ASUU described as the illegal recess was declared, the university administration has kept our students at home. It is now over three weeks after the general elections. Worse still, declaring a recess for the purpose of elections when all other state  and even federal universities in the country remained in session including Lagos State owned institutions is unexplainable.” Idris fumed.
The ASUU leader added that since the end of elections on April 11, the students had lost valuable academic time for no justifiable reason and without any pronouncement on resumption date.
The development, according to  the academic activist, would eventually lead to  a situation whereby the management later be forced  to collapse the academic calendar without regard for adequate coverage of the curriculum so as to just push out graduates,” he said.
Idris therefore, urged all stakeholders and the general public to appeal to the authorities to re-open the university for academic activities to resume immediately; adding that government should also resume dialogue with all staff unions in the university towards resolving the lingering crisis.
The union  also disclosed that it was aware that the university administration was trying to lure students into the matter towards pitching them against the workers.
. “We wish to state clearly that our members were teaching our dear students up up till March 23 when the illegal recess was declared. Conflict between staff members and university administration which does not affect students’ academic activities is not the business of the students.
“Students are in school primarily to study. We urge parents and guardians and the general public to educate their wards well so that they are not used by the university administration for selfish interest.” Idris admonished.
Meanwhile, ASUU, has observed that the Obafunwa- led administration of the varsity had not been creative enough to fashion out ways and means of generating  extra revenue for the institution; having relied solely on government subvention and students’ tuition fee to run the university system all the while.
Chairman of the union, LASU chapter, Idris, noted that instead of the vice- chancellor bemoaning the government’s reduction in tuition fee and vengefully visiting it on the workers, Professor Obafunwa should have created avenues to generate extra income for the institution  to become self-supportive .
“ Rather than run a policy of vendetta and witch-hunting, the  VC should simply have proactively looked for ways of making extra money for the university towards making it self-sufficient.
“Look at table water for example which many other universities around are producing and selling within and around campuses to generate money for the running of the university operations, what about bakery and others? Mr. Vice- Chancellor would not think in that direction. Rather, he has chosen to engage and exert his energy on vindictive drive against staff for the just cause we have been fighting to ensure that sanity reigns in LASU”; Idris stated
After reiterating vote of confidence in its executive, ASUU-LASU insisted that Professor Oladapo Obafunwa should proceed on his terminal leave to vacate the office while another person with better human relations and management acumen be appointed as Vice- Chancellor   so that peace may reign once again in the university.
“We have had enough of dead body managers in LASU. We  need somebody with living human conscience to manage the affairs of living workers of this lively university. Obafunwa should return to the mortuary to manage the dead which he knows how best to do”; the union insisted.

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