Stakeholders Justify Passing Vote of Confidence in Babalakin’

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Wale Babalakin

Tobi Soniyi

A group of stakeholders comprising non-teaching staff of the University of Lagos have explained their decision to pass a vote of confidence on the Pro chancellor and Chairman of University of Lagos Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) is due to his commitment to the development of the institution.

Nine members of the non-teaching staff: Adekola Adetomiwa, Asaju Toye Ogundeji Ademola, Babatunde Oseni ESQ, Godson Nwankwo, Kolawole Kolapo, Koleowo Omolabi, Adeniyi Adebowale and Ibrahim Adenekan, recently passed a vote of confidence in Babalakin.

In their note of justification at the weekend, the stakeholders said they were in support of amicable resolution without loss of any position on any side and that their decision was also hinged on their appreciation and support for his leadership.

According to them, the vote of confidence was necessitated by his dispassionate assessment of his contribution to nation building and the progress of the institution in particular.

They said: “Babalakin parades intimidating but beneficial credentials of outstanding performance in business and public life. To us, in the University of Lagos, he amply demonstrated his goodwill when, shortly after his appointment as Pro chancellor, he convened a village square meeting with all the non teaching staff members, junior and senior.

“Through the meeting, he obtained salient information on marginalization, stagnation, delayed promotion and several untreated welfare matters. “Today, many staff members have been positively affected by measures, steps and directives which issued out of that village square meeting. Many stagnated officers have their careers restructured and delayed promotions granted.
“We are equally aware of his insistence on the need for prudence in the utilisation of the Universities resources,” they explained.

The stakeholders, also, noted that Babalakin is a great alumnus of University of Lagos, a pride of the university community.

They had earlier appealed to the Vice Chancellor, Prof.
Toyin Ogundipe and Babalakin and their supporters to sheathe their swords.

They noted that it was in the interest of the institution, the staff and the students for peace to reign in the university. The relationship between the vice chancellor and the chairman of council recently turned sour, the fall out of which was the suspension of the university’s convocation initially slated for from March 9 to March 13.

While the governing council blamed the vice-chancellor, for the suspension of the 56th convocation ceremonies of the institution, Ogundipe denied any wrong doing saying that all his actions were based on precedent.

The stakeholders said: “Against all the reasonable moves and efforts rallied at tackling the lingering issue, the university community has, sadly, been polarized into either Pro-Ogundipe or Pro-Babalakin camps, with intrigues of mistrust and victimisation of opposing camps.

“The polarization got worsened with one of the unions strongly disparaging first, the Office of the Registrar in 2019, and currently (2020) the Chairman of Council and Pro-Chancellor. In response to the referred offending and/or partisan, unprintable remarks, appropriate rejoinders were issued suing for peace and withdrawal of the tag of ‘persona non grata’.

“As unrelenting stakeholders and concerned members of the university community, we are poised to maintain the status quo by passing ‘a vote of confidence’ on the Pro-Chancellor and Council Chairman to allow for a level playing ground.

“In other words, we condemn in it’s entirety the threat of jungle justice, to drive Dr. ‘Wale Babalakiin (SAN) out of the university community while performing or attempting to perform his duties.

“It is indeed our belief that this vote of confidence will forestall breakdown of law and order, as well as afford the luxury of time for the final resolution of this conflict, by the right quarters.”