University of Lagos suspends convocation in March

Four days after announcing its 51st Convocation programme, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has suspended the five-day programme previously scheduled to start March 9, 2020.

A circular on the institution’s website signed by the institution’s Registrar, Mr Oladejo Azeez, did not give any reason for the suspension.

However a leaked memo addressed to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education (FME), Sonny Ochono, noted that the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the University, Dr. Wale Babalakin had informed the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu in a letter dated March 2 ,2020 that the programme was not approved by the Governing Council.

The letter titled: “Re: Invitation to the 2019 Convocation Ceremony of the University of Lagos” reads:

“The attention of the honourable minister has been drawn to the attached copy of letter dated 2nd of March 2020 from the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. B.O. Babalakin to the effect that the 2019 convocation ceremonies were not approved by the Governing Council in line with the laws of the University.

“I am to, therefore, request that you kindly advise the Vice-Chancellor to suspend the convocation and ensure full compliance with due process.”

On Wednesday, The Nation reached out to University of Lagos Vice Chancellor Prof Toyin Ogundipe, and the Deputy Registrar, Information and Protocol, Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede to confirm rumours of the postponement of the convocation but got no response.

However, when this reporter called her on Thursday, she confirmed the postponement and said the University would release its official statement Thursday night.

“I did not respond to your message because I did not want to. The convocation has been postponed. We will send an official statement tonight,” she said.

There has been no love lost between the University of Lagos management led by Prof. Toyin Ogundipe and the Governing Council in the running of the University. Last year, the FME and the House of Representatives had to intervene to settle crisis generated by the disaffection between both parties. (The Nation)