Lagos Assembly approves five-year, single-term tenure for LASU helmsman

Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa

Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa

Apparently to put an end to the protracted leadership crisis that has rocked the state-owned tertiary institution, the Lagos State House of Assembly Tuesday approved a five-year single-term tenure for vice chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU).

The new term, due to be infused into relevant laws, overrides the existing four-year, two-term tenure for occupants of that office.
LASU has been experiencing severe crisis since 2014. But matters got to a head in March this year when academic and non-academic staff chased incumbent vice chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa away from the campus, alongside the school’s registrar. The workers are currently opposed to Obafunwa being reappointed for another four-year term, which ends before the end of this year.

The House committee that investigated the crisis, among other resolutions, sought an amendment to the relevant laws of state-owned tertiary institutions in the state to reflect a single-term for their heads, as is the practice in some other tertiary institutions in the country.

In agreement with the new tenure, the House also called for an urgent stakeholders’ meeting of all segments of the university to discuss the prevailing problems in the university.

Of particular concern also to the lawmakers, are factors affecting accreditations of courses in the institution, and the need for a stakeholders resolutions to advice the governor on ways of achieving enduring solutions to the myriad of problems facing the university.

Prime mover of the Motion, Sanai Agunbiade, said the single-term tenure was imperative because the institution since its establishment has been bedeviled with internal crises, which were more often than not, targeted at the sitting vice chancellor, who desires to seek for a second term in office.

Agunbiade, who is also the Majority Leader of the House, observed that heads of most tertiary institutions in the state, especially LASU vice chancellors usually end their tenures in serious crises, and always leave office unceremoniously.

Other lawmakers, in agreement with the new tenure, expressed worries that the incessant crises in the school has affected the image, development and standard of education there, and eroded the aims and objectives of establishing it.

They also expressed concern that some faculties that had brought honour, pride and recognition to LASU were now either losing the accreditation or were not accredited.

The lawmakers called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to set in motion a machinery that will give effect to residential policy of the government in respect of the university as provided for in Section 40 of the Lagos State University Law, 2004.

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