Nigeria: LASU VC Appointment Crisis - Lagos Assembly Steps in

"We eulogised LASU over its feats recently only for the issue of succession to draw the institution back."

The speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudasiru Obasa, has said there is more to what the public knows about the crisis rocking the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, over the appointment of the institution's 9th substantive vice-chancellor.

Mr Obasa, who spoke during plenary, on Tuesday, decried the protracted controversies surrounding the appointment of another helmsman for the university, saying the development is already drawing the university back.

A statement issued by the speaker's spokesman, Eromosele Ebhomele, said the speaker called on the governor to quickly address the matter while also tasking the parliament's committee on education to unravel the mystery surrounding the development.

He said: "We eulogised LASU over its feats recently only for the issue of succession to draw the institution back.

"They have regulations on how a VC should be selected. They did a test for the people shortlisted for the office and their marks were very close to one another. They should have selected one of the shortlisted candidates. If you can't pick the one that came first, you should pick the number two or number three up to number five.

"I believe that there is more to what is happening in the institution despite what we are seeing."

Mr Obasa was reacting to the issue following a matter of urgent public importance raised by the house leader, Sanai Agunbiade.

Mr Agunbiade had complained that LASU was in crisis over the selection of a new VC.

More complaints

While raising the matter, Mr Agunbiade stated that a committee was set up towards the end of the tenure of the university's 8th substantive vice-chancellor, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, but that the committee was dissolved due to petitions written against the process.

He said another committee was set up but that the allegations of flawed processes and bias positions against some candidates were raised by other stakeholders, saying the second process has also been put on hold.

He said; "Now, LASU does not have a VC or Governing Board. LASU has dropped from number two in the country to number five. Something must be done urgently about the selection of a new VC for the university.

"The house committee on education should be asked to commence investigation into the issues in LASU and come up with recommendations.

"The governor should also look into the issues surrounding the selection of a vice chancellor for the institution."

Similarly, in his contribution, a member representing Kosofe 1 state constituency, Ganiu Sanni, said the issue of LASU was taking a worrisome dimension despite its achievements over the years.

Another lawmaker, Desmond Elliot, representing Surulere 1 state constituency, noted that over 50 per cent of the lawmakers in the assembly were graduates of LASU.

Mr Elliot said LASU had become a pride to the state and that accolades kept growing for it before the latest problem occured.

He then called for a seamless transition in the administration of the university.

The member representing Eti Osa 2 state constituency, Gbolahan Yishawu, supported the position of his colleagues and called for an end to the crisis rocking the university to avert damaging consequences.

Intervention

The house has, therefore, mandated its committee on tertiary education to investigate the circumstances leading to the crisis and make appropriate recommendations.

The committee, which is headed by the member representing Lagos Mainland 1 state constituency, Ajani Owolabi, is to report back to the plenary within a week.

The speaker, while giving the committee its term of reference, said that the process of picking vice-chancellors has always been a problem in the institution.

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