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My appointment as UNILAG Acting Vice Chancellor in order, says Soyombo

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• Pledges to make workers’ welfare his priority
• NASU members give him rousing welcome

The Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Omololu Soyombo, yesterday broke his silence on the legality of his appointment, saying his emergence as the Acting VC is in order.

Soyombo, apparently reacting to the regulation of the University Act on the sack of a vice chancellor and appointment of another in acting capacity, said no deputy vice chancellors had been approved by the Governing Council.

The Acting VC, who addressed workers, comprising the non-academic members of staff from the foyer of the Senate Building, promised to take the issue of their welfare serious.

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He also promised to carry members of staff along in his decision-making.

Soyombo, who arrived to a rousing welcome from workers, said his appointment was a call to service, promising to do his best for the peace and upliftment of the institution.

He said: “These are trying times for our great university and our prayer is that God will see us through. I won’t deceive myself that I can do it alone, which is why I need your support in prayers. Let us work together for the progress of our university. When we have the success story, it will be for each and every one of us.

“I believe that a well-motivated member of staff will deliver and work hard. The resources we have are limited but I will ensure that within the limitation of our resources, we will still explore avenues for generating more revenues and the profit would be used equitably.

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“We are missing our students, and we want them back. We will ensure we comply with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) safety protocols not to endanger the live of anybody.”

In the meantime, when a member of staff warned him against allowing the office to corrupt him, Soyombo said: “Indeed, we should not allow our position to corrupt us. My promise to you is not based on an empty standing. At all times, my concern has always been general welfare. If we have limited resources, let us distribute and let everybody get something.”

MEANWHILE, the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) has dissociated itself from the protest against the Acting VC and pledged its support to the new leadership.

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In a statement signed by its NASU UNILAG Chairman, Kehinde Ajibade and Chairman, College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, T.S. Aderibigbe, the union said it was no longer opposing the removal of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as the vice chancellor and subsequent emergence of Soyombo.

The union leaders said they had come to terms with the superior demand of their national body and members of the group to opt for new line of action.

But when contacted on the new posturing of NASU, Dr. Dele Ashiru of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNILAG Chapter, said he was not taken aback as human beings are full of surprises, maintaining that ASUU, alongside members of the Senate, are resolute in their stance against the council’s decision.

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NCDCOmololu SoyomboUNILAG
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