The National Union of Lagos State Students (NULASS) has threatened to hold the Lagos State Government to ransom if it fails to resolve the crisis at the Lagos State University within two weeks.
Speaking at a briefing on Friday, NULASS President, Sultan Daniju, accused the staff unions of the university of working against the interest of the students by undermining the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Obafunwa, to reposition the university.
“We observed that Prof. John Obafunwa is a trustworthy, persistent and incorruptible administrator. It is also our observation that the staff unions in LASU are just being intentionally frivolous, whimsical and non-serious in their stand against the VC as they are threatened by his incorruptible nature,” he said.
The staff unions, comprising the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions(NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Universities(SSANU) had, in March, chased Obafunwa and other principal officers out of the institution during one of the events lined up to mark the institution’s convocation ceremony.
The unions had demanded the regularisation of casual staff and the payment of the balance of their salary increase arrears, among others. They also requested the governing council of the varsity to remove Obafunwa from office.
Urging Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to stop the overbearing influence of the staff unions, NULASS said the infrastructural development in LASU would suffer a setback if care was not taken. The association also noted that this would not be the first time such a treatment would be meted out to a VC of the institution. It challenged the state government to prevent a recurrence.
According to Daniju, “It is a trend that we all know. The staff unions are challenging the status quo and it is not borne out of the interest of the students. Many people have called on them to sheathe their sword. We will make our agitations known and hold the government to ransom if nothing is done within two weeks. The failure and success of the university lies with the state government.”