UNILAG Crisis: Another governing council member resigns

Following Thursday’s abrupt resignation of Wale Babalakin as the pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, another external member of the council, Bayo Adaralegbe, has tendered his resignation letter.

Mr Adaralegbe, a lawyer and partner at Babalakin and Company, a law chamber founded by Mr Babalakin, addressed his resignation letter, which is dated September 18, to the education minister, Adamu Adamu.

According to the former council member, the decision hinged on the crisis rocking the university, even as he accused the substantive vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, of falsifying the result of an interview conducted for applicants into the position of director of works on the campus.

In his letter, Mr Adaralegbe said his resignation takes immediate effect, even as he extolled the leadership qualities of the erstwhile chairman of the council. He said Mr Babalakin committed his personal resources into the university without seeking any favour from the institution.

The letter reads in part; “I was inaugurated along with other Federal government appointees on the 6th April 2017. In that period, Dr Babalakin provided very strong moral leadership as Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council. He kept scrupulously to the promise he made at our maiden Council meeting not to bid for, or be awarded contracts from the University. He actually did more. By December 2019 he had poured approximately N100 million of his own personal resources on different endeavors in the University. At the time this situation arose, he was in the process of transferring to the University (at no cost to it) 40 hectares of land he owned in Ogudu, Lagos to address its staff housing problems.”

Mr. Adaralegbe accused unnamed persons of politicising his membership of the council, saying as a proud son of his father, who he said was a former deputy vice-chancellor at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and an adviser to a former education minister, he had served the university conscientiously.

He added; “They have even turned my position on the Council as propaganda material, claiming that I lied about my state of origin in order to get appointed. My association with Dr Babalakin since 1991, something that I am incredibly proud of, and which is very common knowledge has also been weaponised by these people.

“Recent developments have, unfortunately, made my continued stay on the Governing Council of the University of Lagos very untenable. I experienced first-hand, the Vice Chancellor of a University falsifying interview results for the position of Director of Works. Professor Toyin Ogundipe threatened to beat me up during an interview session for the position of Director of Works because I resisted his attempt to falsify interview results. It was also in University of Lagos that I experienced a Vice Chancellor attempting to appoint a Professor in respect of a discipline that the University did not have a department, did not admit undergraduate or postgraduate students, and through a one-page Memorandum to the Pro-Chancellor that touted the candidate as an “agent of change.” This is of course apart from a litany of corrupt practices.

“I consider my continued stay on the Governing Council of University of Lagos, a serious dishonor and desecration of my late father’s memory, Professor Adeniji Adaralegbe one (if not the very first) of the first set First Class holders of UNN, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Ife and Special Adviser to Professor Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa, Honourable Minister Federal Ministry of Education.”

SOURCE: PREMIUM TIMES

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