The outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahamon Bello, has revealed his interest and role in the recently resolved faceoff between the Muslim Students’ and the Muslim Community of the university.

He broke his silence on the resolved crisis in the presence of the UNILAG’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin; the immediate past Pro-Chancellor, Professor Jerry Gana; and incoming VC of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe among other top officials of the University.

Bello spoke during a valedictory press conference held at the Senate Chamber of the university.

It will be recalled that the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, UNILAG branch got new executives on October 6, 2017, two years after its activities were suspended.

He explained that his action was necessitated by the need there to put a proper structure for the MSSN in place.

He expressed satisfaction with the new structure put in place for the operation of the MSSN branch in the university.

He, however, stated that the steps taken and roles played by him were to ensure transparency and prevent power tussle among Muslim organs of the university.

On insinuation that his action was in support of a cadre of the MSSN organs outside the university and Lagos State, he said, “It was not in the interest of anyone but for peace, respect and transparency.”

Bello specifically stated that after a thorough review of the activities of the Muslim students, they now have a new leadership that is generally accepted by all.

He added, “There are Muslims in every faculty and each faculties have its own Muslim associations. So the choice of the leadership; that is what they call, in Islam, ‘the Suurah system’ were set up to select the branch’s leaders. 

“What we have done is to use the Suurah committee, a combination of all the faculty representatives in a way that there will be no complaint about who emerges as a leader. 

“They (students) all came together to draft the constitution restructuring the MSSN neatly. So, they are all happy and the executive will be inaugurated as soon as they come back from holiday for the new academic session and then they move on.’’

“We are happy that at least they are satisfied with the outcome of the whole conflict resolution process.”

He subsequently  called on stakeholders of the institution to support his successor, Professor Ogundipe for the university’s development.

He also urged the incoming VC to put the institution first in his decisions.

“What is important is that once you do the right things and ensure the objectives of the institution and you are straightforward in what you do, you will succeed. The moment you derail, you are courting trouble,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bello has launched a book titled ‘Walking the Vision’. Speaking at the book presentation held at the J.F Ade-Ajayi Auditorium, the reviewer, Professor Nimi Briggs, described the book as unique, adding that he would freely recommend it for those interested in higher education and future leaders.

In his remarks, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin commended the vice-chancellor for his commitment to duties.

“The best way to celebrate people like Bello was for his colleagues to put up something like this for him.”

He expressed concern that there is no Nigerian university ranked among 800 universities globally, while calling for stakeholders’ participation in the sector to ensure that it is well funded.

“Gone were the days when government had money to fund education. We have been authorised by the federal government to create means of funding education,” he said, adding that the education sector is at crossroads.

He appealed to stakeholders to partner the government to stop the present downward trend, adding, “there was a time when the University of Ibadan Medical School was ranked fourth in the commonwealth of nations. When you talk about Commonwealth nations, England is also inclusive.”

The immediate past Pro-Chancellor, Professor Jerry Gana described Bello as a man of vision.

Gana, who was represented by Dr. Isua Dogo said, “Professor Rahmon Bello represents one of the best brains in UNILAG. His vision and mission have brought him the achievement.”

In his response, Bello, who lauded the honour bestowed on him, dedicated the book to the three councils he worked with, adding that they contributed to the success of his administration.

He said the university has what it takes to excel in the world. “I am still in UNILAG, I remain UNILAG and continue to be its alumnus.”


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