Four days after it announced a four-day programme to marks its 51st convocation, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has suspended the events, scheduled to start on March 9.
A circular on the institution’s website signed by the institution’s Registrar, Mr Oladejo Azeez, who announced the cancellation, gave no reason.
But a leaked memo to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Ochono, noted that the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the varsity’s Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin, had informed the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu in a letter dated March 2, that the programme was not approved by the his board.
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 UNILAG’s 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 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.
The Prof. Ogundipe-led management and the Governing Council have been at loggerheads on the running of the university.
Last year, the Education ministry and the House of Representatives had to reconcile both parties.