The Senate of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, has elected the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of development services, Folasade Ogunsola, as the institution’s acting vice-chancellor, thus making history as the first female to occupy the CEO position since the institution was established 58 years ago. A section of the university’s community, however, describe her election as “immoral”.
Mrs Ogunsola, a professor of medical microbiology and first child of Nigeria’s first professor of Geography, Akin Mabogunje, was also the first female provost of the university’s college of medicine, Idi-Araba. She is the chairperson of Infections Control Africa Network and member of the Lagos State COVID-19 task force.
She defeated her opponent and a deputy vice-chancellor in charge of management services, Ben Oghojafor, with a wide margin. She scored 135 votes as against Oghojafor’s 31 among the senate members.
A total of 167 professors were accredited for voting while one vote was voided, a source told Fedredsnews.
Some members of the school’s academic community, however, described the election as “illegal and highly unethical”. The argument is that Mrs Ogunsola, alongside the sacked VC, Mr Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, was also indicted in the report of the council that led to the sack of Ogundipe.
“How can someone who was indicted in a corruption probe be made a vice-chancellor? That is immoral and a breach of corporate governance. The best thing the Senate should have done is to elect a neutral candidate”, a senior lecturer in the university told Fedredsnews
Efforts by the university’s registrar, Oladejo Azeez, to halt the convocation of the meeting was thwarted as the senate members sidestepped his earlier directive to the head of the management of the university’s auditorium not to make the venue available for the senate meeting, by seeking direct approval from the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the federal ministry of education.
A source told Fedredsnews that Mrs Ogunsola recused herself from chairing the meeting by asking the senate’s team to Abuja on Thursday, Chioma Agomo, to take charge.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Ogunsola thanked the senate for the confidence reposed in her to lead the university “at such time the university is going through so much”. “This is a big task, but it is a task for all of us, and I appeal to you to help rewrite the story of this great university for good.”