It would shock everyone to know that the first line of defence for the Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Professor Toyin Ogundipe, in the face of the many corruption indictments against him, is the UNILAG ASUU leadership headed by one Khaki-wearing Comrade who is in the order of Adams Oshiomhole. Dele Ashiru is his name.

I have never seen any unprincipled ASUU Chairman like that of UNILAG. 

At the wake of the imbroglio in UNILAG which required the mass recruitment of opinion formers and praise singers, the footprints of this ASUU Chairman could be seen everywhere. How he sided/sides the VC, without looking at the facts of the matter stabs rationality, disgraces activism and unionism. 

We should hang Babalakin for his anti-poor advisory policies on education to the FG. But Ogundipe should be excused for stealing and mismanaging the little from the FG.

How is Ogundipe different from Babalakin? I bet it with you that only Dele Ashiru can tell us.

He’s the pro-poor Vice-chancellor because he has declared free education for all.

Even the student leaders who have never read Marx declined the offer to write in support of the embattled Vice-Chancellor in the show of shame. They reached out to me after the drowning VC arranged to meet with them through his agents and I advised them based on principles of activism and unionism. Dele Ashiru’s opinion and UNILAG ASUU’s position are now one and same. 

What befuddles many persons in the civil society is the silence of our Comrade on crucial matters but his woofer kind of loudness on issues that should less concern him. Where’s Ashiru’s position on the reinstatement of the UNILAG Students’ Union? What’s his position on reinstament of victimized student activists? Students has a sham where less than 200 students elected a President in a faculty that has over 5,000 eligible voters.

Students protested this and the other liar who stays at the Students’ Affairs Building told student leaders to tell him if they don’t want elections again, so he can direct the Deans of Faculties to appoint leaders for students.

What an aberration!

Would our Comrade say he’s not aware of such developments? He may be right not to know what’s affecting the majority including his Union members but he knows where all the documents and details involving Babalakin and Ogundipe are. Including secret meetings. 

We were together on a show at Silverbird Television at the heat of the disagreement between Babalakin-led Council and Ogundipe’s Management, and I was so embarrassed at his stance. I was actually expecting that I would be debating a member of the Senate. I never knew Dele Ashiru has appointed himself as the vuvuzela of Prof. Toyin Ogundipe and he was the one I would be debating. I tried to stomach my disappointment and I restrained myself from being his laundry man on TV. Victor E. Mbadike knew that was not me. 

When we got to the argument on fair hearing or otherwise for the VC who was sacked then, he drifted from the issue at some point to discuss my victimization and that I was given fair hearing. I objected, however subtly because I am a very principled activist who understands the art and act of solidarity. My normal self knows how to carpet people who show the littlest spark of hypocrisy. He also mentioned how we should be careful of presenting the matter because it may affect international acceptance and grants to the University of Lagos. So a thief who steals the “grants at home” should be shielded because we don’t want to appear bad and lose foreign acceptance and grants. Our Comrade is smart by half. 

I objected his assertion that I was giving fair hearing unlike the VC. What I didn’t say that day was that there is a salient difference between hearing and fair hearing. I was heard but not fairly heard. There is a reason for the FAIR in FAIR HEARING.

And here are some of the points.

-Was any/my lawyer allowed in? At the second panel upon the fake reinstatement, my lawyer Inibehe Effiong was denied entry. 

– Was any student representative at the panel?

Many may not know that this is the civilized way of doing things. A campus that boasts of about 30,000 students but does not carry such population along in ALL its decision-making process is undemocratic in its dealings, except we are saying Democracy and maybe Democratic Centralism have been redefined. No wonder 30,000 needs about 100 to determine if 30,000 has a Union. 

30,000 (students) should be greater than about 100 (Senate) anywhere, even in Mars. The same problem with Nigeria. 

– Was ASUU and other unions represented? If Yes, it was not expressly stated. 

– Where is/was my offence in the handbook? 

– Was I shown the recommendation presented by the panel to the Senate?

Many may not know that the civilized thing to do, especially in an academic community was to also show me (the accused) the proceedings of the panel and the recommendation thereafter. The Chairman of the Panel, Professor P.K Fogam alluded to this too in one of his statements on that day. What if what was shown to the Senate was that I came to the panel begging after accepting guilt or that I came to insult everybody and for that reason, I should be expelled? What if?

It’s possible. Twisting of facts is second nature to many of our academics today and by denying me the opportunity to see what was presented to the Senate, the process of justice was truncated and you can’t call that “fair hearing”. I expected a Senior lecturer of Politcal Science to know this. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. 

Till today, all attempts to get the recording of the panel have proven abortive. They keep running from their shadows. They know if I get hold of the recording and get it published (so likely of me), a number of them may lose their professorship due to how benighted they sounded at the panel, especially one Professor Ojikutu. 

Where else is the ASUU Chairman a self-appointed spokesperson for the Vice-Chancellor, if not UNILAG?

ASUU National needs to look at this unprincipled and anyhowness going on in UNILAG, if the local members are too disinterested to speak the truth to their leaders.

There are principled demands ASUU should be making at this time that would even put the two elephants fighting under fire. Demands that would unite everyone on campus against the oppressors and will bring excellence back to UNILAG.

Instead of Dele Ashiru concerning himself with who stole but did not steal properly, there are serious things to be done. 

Pic- Dele Ashiru preparing ASUU’s position (his position) on the indictments bordering on grand corruption and maladministration of the Ogundipe-led Management of UNILAG. 

– Adeyeye Olorunfemi

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