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Monday, October 29, 2018


Lagos State University 

Gone are those days when ASUU - LASU used to be a gathering of intellectuals and principled comrades. A remembrance of the glorious days when comrades like the late Professor Abubakar Momoh steered the affairs of the union stimulates a feeling of pains and worries - especially in the light of the current affairs of ASUU in LASU. 

My career as an academic at the Lagos State University began during the administration of Professor Akanni Hussein. As a Graduate Assistant Lecturer in the Hussein years,  I watched LASU crumble to its kneels as crisis engulfed it. 

The administration that followed that of Professor Hussein also had too much to contend with and it ended sadly for the university. If there is anything I can draw from my years of service as a Lecturer at the Lagos State University, it's that the current administration in LASU is a distinctive one - a great model for university administration anywhere in the world. For instance, many members of LASU workforce whose promotions were stagnated for over a decade now occupy the positions they truly deserve - courtesy of the innovative and pro-staff attitude of the administration. 

This administration is transparent, fair and inclusive as the current university vice-chancellor strictly runs the affairs of the university through the committee system. In fairness, you do not have to belong to any caucus or cabal before you can get what rightfully belongs to you in the LASU of today. I have had cause to ask myself if ASUU is the only union in LASU. What exactly is it that our ASUU want?

The way our dear ASUU-LASU is going, it will destroy LASU's recent gains and the goodwill that the University is now beginning to enjoy from all and sundry just for the selfish interest of few individuals.  At an accreditation meeting in my faculty, a senior colleague brought up the issue of what our ASUU-LASU just circulated in relation to admission exercise. What an allegation to make? Another colleague was so dismissive of ASUU- LASU. He made reference  to the write-up of one Mr. Yusuf Akinola and noted that because those of us in LASU are too timid and scared to speak,  outsiders are the ones now taking up the gauntlet. One cannot blame those who are scared to talk. The threat of the cabal that is our ASUU- LASU now is real.

I was also initially scared to put my thoughts into writing and share it on the social media until an occurrence that unraveled during my attendance of an event on the Island this last Saturday.  Some of those present at this event upon sighting those of us who are from LASU began to rain abuses on mischief makers within the LASU Community in relation to ASUU - LASU exco's allegation of racketeering. Their anger did not cease until after my clarification that  many members of LASU community are not in support of the glaring evil agenda of ASUU - LASU exco. One of the elderly men asked me in yoruba, that :  *"iru eyan wo ni eyin ara LASU ? Ki le tun nfe ? E ma ba ile iwe yi je pelu iwa osi yin o. Eyin nikan ni University to wa ni Nigeria ni. E bara yin da sowun jere. Eleyi ko da, towun ko da. Ti anobi gan ba de, e ma da idoti si lara."*

I was truly very embarrassed. Quite clearly, ASUU - LASU exco cannot continue this mischievous, self-serving and destructive attack on the University. It dawned on me that many members of the public are really wondering if the Lagos State University that ASUU - LASU exco portrays on the pages of newspapers and online blogs is the same LASU that students of the university, as well as the general public, now love and respect. This for me is quite revealing and insightful. Why always only ASUU - LASU? 

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If any individual fails to critically study the dynamics of LASU, such individual may gullibly believe that the media charade of ASUU - LASU exco portrays the reality in LASU or their positions represent that of academic staff in LASU. A closer view and deeper understanding of the whole theatrics of ASUU - LASU exco will bring to bare that  members of ASUU who truly identify with the activities of the current ASUU - LASU exco  can be counted by the fingers. They are few in number , yet,  they have  grown the reputation of imposing decisions on more than 90% of Lecturers in LASU. At the last but one congress, the union executives(just 3 of them) alongside some accomplices from other ASUU branches imposed a press statement on the entire LASU workforce. We cannot continue like this. These other Unionists protect their own institutions that are at times not able to even pay salaries, but, find it most convenient to join in destroying LASU. It speaks volumes of those of us in LASU. 

Due to constant threats, arcane practices and the cabal posture of ASUU - LASU exco, hundreds of members of LASU Community who wish to speak out loudly have instead chosen to speak in whispers or publish articles covertly just like I'm doing now.  Regardless, if all members of LASU Community refuse to speak out due to the fear of a few individuals, then we may have nothing to fight for when our silence give room for ASUU - LASU exco to annihilate our darling university for their own self-serving agenda. 

I'm forever a proud ASUU member. I'm proud of the ASUU that existed in the glorious days of late Professor Abubakar Momoh where truth, credibility,  rule of law,  accountability and common sense were the guiding principles of the Union. The current crop of leaders in ASUU - LASU lack any scintilla of accountability. An Exco that wastes and misuse the funds of the Union, yet seeks to call others to account. An Exco that argues for others to be democratic when itself is not. Every pretext is brought to bear to sit-tight in office.  What an irony!  Our ASUU- LASU has totally lost credibility.

This is not a tussle between an administration and a group of cabal, it is a war between the vast majority of LASU Community who prefers the LASU of today and a few mischievous individuals whose only aim is to plunge LASU into a crisis that will benefit only them. "99" will always be greater than "1" and we the "99" will tell the "1" that they cannot take LASU back to the old days; the point of no return. 

All LASU Staff, Students, Alumni, and well-wishers must stand for the peace and advancement of the Lagos State University. 

*The author of this write up is a LASU academic from the Lagos division who believes in the LASU dream.*

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