Prof Olanrewaju Fagboun (SAN): A unique administrator, law teacher
Since the promulgation of the law, which established Lagos State University in 1983 and its consequent inception in 1984, the University has experienced the appointment of various persons to the office of Vice-Chancellor. Those appointed came with different personalities, modus operandi, professional fields and academic cadres but none has been so dynamic and result oriented like the current VC.
During the embryonic stage of this great citadel of learning, there were many despicable and unprintable events that hindered the growth of the only state owned University of the wealthiest and most vibrant state of the federation. Abject infrastructural deficiency, high students to lecturer ratio, unaccredited courses, high rate of cultism and poorly qualified staff amongst others were some of the factors that bedeviled this great institution which created a very unpleasant and sour public image for the University.
The year 2016 witnessed the appointment of a young and astute professor of Environmental Law as the 8th statutory and substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University. It is worthy of note that penultimate years to this period, the ever-militant, progressive, articulate and ever-reasonable Students’ Union of this prestigious, multiple award winning University had just had a successful but stressful battle and negotiation with the University and State Government over the unnecessary hike and ultimate reduction in school fees, and the entire university populace and communities were still licking their resulting wounds.
Hence the arrival of Prof. Fagbohun (SAN) as the new Vice-Chancellor was greeted with mixed feelings by a larger percentage of students as well as staff (academic and non-academic). We all expected a messiah of the new V.C and I am sure that not only did he not disappoint, but surpassed the expectations of all and sundry beyond the wildest imaginations.
First, he adopted an open door policy and by waving his magic wand of diplomacy, created unity amongst the staff and further extended it to all organs and parastatals, which are in any way affiliated to the University community (no matter how insignificant such may appear) thereby creating a peaceful coexistence between all sectors of the University; which was an essential ingredient to growth and development.
Secondly, he harnessed the internal and external security machineries of the University by employing more qualified security personnel to work as school Marshalls within the campuses and equipping them with relevant equipment like power-motorbikes, shotguns, security vans as well as security kits while he was concurrently sieving out the bad eggs among them through diplomatic approach and in strict adherence to due process.
Externally, at the two main entrances of the University main campus there were Police Armored Tanks permanently stationed and manned by focused Police officers at any given time. This singular move worked magic to not only drastically reduce but to finally eliminate the heinous operations of various cultist groups or confraternities within the campus. The result was a peaceful environment very conducive for learning.
Additionally, driven by the zeal to correct the unhealthy living conditions and experiences of LASUITES, he was very concerned and passionate about the welfare of his world class students that he facilitated the speedy completion of abandoned infrastructural projects in all the campuses of the University. Apart from this, he also facilitated the reconstruction of both major roads and their adjoining minor roads in all the campuses (Ojo, Epe and Ikeja) of the University and lighted up the roads thereby setting no glaring different between night and day lives on our campuses and consequently encouraging productive night study for the students. He also contracted experts who have beautified the roads and invariably the entire university with a classy touch of horticulture.
Yes! The series of villainy which beclouded the innate academic excellence that LASU is known for is now a stale tale because not only is the academic calendar running smoothly and uninterrupted in the absence of strike/industrial actions, unwarranted protest, operations of cultists, indiscriminate deaths, insecurity, sexual harassment, examination malpractice etc; but the name LASU has now been penned on the global scene for all forms of academic and managerial innovations and enviable feats. All thanks to the lightning out of the blues: Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun and his team of management staff.
How can any conscious LASUITE in this epoch marking era of the LASU V.C. forget the self-assuring slogan and school anthem “we are LASU, we are proud” coined and popularized by this performing VC?
Therefore as he is gradually crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s in the next few months, preparatory to passing the baton on to the yet to be appointed candidate, it is exigent and expedient to let the world know what a great man he is, so much so that he was tagged the best ever LASU Vice Chancellor by none other than the difficult-to-impress and please members of the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU). Quite expectedly he has been deservedly honoured by the President with the National Productivity Merit Award as a token of the recognition of his hard work, dynamism and dedication.
It is therefore no gainsaying that he has left a very gigantic shoe behind for whoever will come after him as the next Vice Chancellor. In many years to come, when the story of LASU would be told, Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagboun would be fondly remembered as the lightning from the blues that came to change things for good – permanently.
Affluence is a 500-level law student of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo Lagos.
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