A group known as the Remo Growth and Development Foundation has called on the University of Lagos Council to stop its purported removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe
In a statement joinly signed by Aare Kola Oyefeso and Wole Awe, Esq, the Foundation frowned at the fact due process was not followed by the Council in the matter at hand.
The Full Statement:
We write as Remo Growth and Development Foundation which responsibly,influence and operations cover all the 44 towns of Remoland- being one of the integral Divisions of Ogun State, and as the the kith and kin of the incumbent and bonafide Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, to register our consternation on the abracadabra that attended the purported removal of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS from his position as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos.
Remo is known to have produced the very best in almost everything in Nigeria and to mention a few,Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory,the first Professor Emeritus in Medicine- Prof T Ogunlesi, The only Nigeria Nobel Laureate-Prof Wole Soyinka,the Nigerian making wave Internationally-Dr Bayo Ogunlesi who owns five (5) International Airports among which is Gatwick Airport and has in his employment,a former World Bank President. Unarguably,the best among intellectual that ever occupies the seat of the Vice Presidency of this Country is also from Remo,not to talk of past and current State Governors.
With this kind of unsullied profile, our indigenes go out with Remo pristine and unblemished pedigree hence; they dilligently prove their mettle in their various callings.
Ergo; We don’t and will never throw our weight behind any of our indigenes on the basis of sheer ethnic sentiment. We do so,because all our indigenes are under obligation to do us proud anywhere they find themselves. With such disposition, we wouldn’t allow any of our indigenes to be rubbished at the altar of impetuousity. We are therefore demanding nothing but due process as set out in the University’s regulations under an unbiased panel.
For crying out loud the procedure for disengaging holder of such exalted position of the Vice Chancellor in Government Universities is clearly spelt out and for emphasis we culled the conditions to be met infra;
Procedures for removal of Vice Chancellor are clearly spelt out in The University (Ammendement) Acts 2003 as follows:
(9) When the proposal for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor is made, the Council shall
constitute a joint committee of Council and Senate consisting of-
(i) three members of the Council one of whom shall be the Chairman of the committee, and
(ii) two members of the Senate,
provided that where the ground for removal is infirmity of the body or mind, the Council shall seek appropriate medical opinion.
(10) The Committee shall conduct investigation into the allegations made against the Vice-Chancellor and shall report its findings to the Council.
(11) The Council may where the allegations are proved remove the Vice-Chancellor or apply any other disciplinary action it may deem fit and notify the Visitor accordingly provided that a Vice- Chancellor who is removed shall have right of appeal to the Visitor.
(12) There shall be no sole administration in any Nigerian University.
The purpose of the conditions stated supra is to strictly fullfill the principle of Audi Utream Partem otherwise known as Fair Hearing. This is a maxim initiated by God Himself, who gave Adam a hearing when the all-knowing Lord still asked Adam why he ate the forbidden fruit.
To do anything contrary to the laid down procedure is to bring the Country back to the arbitrariness of the dark era of the Military Rule, which must be consigned to our ugly past.Ditto any act that is irrational, tyrannical and altogether draconian as the purported removal of Prof Ogundipe depicts,
We may put authoritarian behaviors past Institutions that are headed by barely educated personalities, but certainly not the citadel of learning among which, University of Lagos ranks among the very best in Africa.
Against the foregoing, we condemn this apparent subversion of set procedure on the subject in issue in the strongest term and to save the image of the Institution of Universities in Nigeria, we demand immediate reinstatement of the Vice Chancellor, while we are not averse to an investigation embracing neutral and fair panelists.
Above all, we humbly call on the Federal Government to rise to the exigency of this situation, by ordering a return to status quo ante belum forthwith.
The Maxim is Verbum Sapienti Satis Est..
Wole Awe Esq.
Aare Dr Kola Oyefeso
For & On Behalf of Remo Growth and Development Foundation.