Soyombo begs UNILAG unions for support in maiden meeting

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities says its position that Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos remains unchanged.

This is as the new acting Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Omololu Soyombo, in his first meeting with workers on Wednesday begged for the support of the unions in the institution.

Soyombo, who was warmly received by some members of staff at the university’s Senate Building, thanked the unions in the university for their support.

He said, “I want to thank all our unions. I see it as a call to service to the university; it’s in this regard that I accepted the post.

We all came here to work and it behoves us to make it better than we met it.

We should not allow the ship of this university to drift.”

Soyombo informed them that his immediate plan for the workers was staff welfare, adding that staff members were the core asset of the university.

“My major focus will be on staff welfare. My belief in this regard is that  human resources (staff) are the core assets of the university and any organisation.  Otherwise, we cannot achieve anything,” he said.

Soyombo, who also spoke to the press at the Senate Chamber, said he assumed the post on August 12, 2020 and as such would ensure he lifted the institution to a higher pedestal than he met it.

“We shall ensure effective delivery of lectures by upgrading our teaching facilities, provide modern multimedia platforms, projectors and upgrade research facilities for better performance because the university is the repository of knowledge,” he said.

However, Chairman, ASUU, UNILAG chapter, Dr Dele Ashiru, insisted that the union was unwavering in its position that Prof. Ogundipe remained the vice chancellor of the institution.

He said, “The Senate of the university is the highest decision making organ on academic affairs; the Senate has spoken and that remained unchanged. A VC will not assume office by addressing pressmen and some disgruntled members of staff. You take charge when you take off.”

Ashiru maintained that legalities could not be built on illegalities, adding that, “beneath the smokescreen is an agenda to demote public universities with a view to privatising them and people like our Pro-chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin, can buy them as they have done in other sector of the economy.”

Recall that the embattled Prof. Ogundipe was sacked by the UNILAG Governing Council led by the Chairman and Pro-chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin, on August 12, 2020, while Soyombo was immediately named the acting VC.

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