The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) says he will continue to ensure that “universities remain places of scholarship and innovation and not theatres of conflict”.
Buhari gave the assurance on Thursday at the 51st (2019) convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos.
Buhari was represented at the occasion by the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.
According to the president, the commitment is the reason for his recent approval of visitation panels to all federal universities and inter-university centres.
He noted that the visitation panels were to ascertain the performances of the institutions and their requirements.
The president said that the panels would soon submit their reports and that the Federal Government would swiftly come up with a position on their recommendations.
“In other words, government is committed to the full implementation of all acceptable recommendations of the visitation panels.
”I am delighted to be a part of this convocation ceremony.
“I am aware that this ceremony should have been held in 2019 but for unforeseen developments in the university.
“We hold our universities in high esteem and we believe that a healthy university system will translate to a healthy society and positive national development.
“As the Visitor to the university, I cannot but recollect the recent council/management crisis of 2020.
“I commend the senate of the university for its maturity and decision to send a delegation to me on the matter.
“As it became obvious, I heard your voice loud and clear,” the president said.
He noted that the Federal Government consequently set up a special visitation panel to investigate the crisis.
“The recommendations of the panel were implemented to restore peace to the university.
”Part of this restoration process necessitated the appointment of a new governing council for the university, under the chairmanship of Sen. Lanre Tejuosu,” he said.
The president urged all stakeholders within and outside the university to do everything within the law to ensure peace on the campus at all times.
He said that such would ensure nation-building and problem-solving.
Earlier, the Chancellor of the university and Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, lauded the institution for commitment to the production of manpower needed for the development of the country.
He urged the institution’s senate not to relent in ensuring peace and stability in the university.
He said that peace remained an essential tool for teaching and learning and overall national development.
The Pro-Chancellor of the university, Dr Lanre Tejuoso, added, “I have listened and watched him closely.
“His vision for the university and his activities are headed toward ensuring that students and staff are given the opportunities and resources to compete globally.”
In his address, the Vice-Chancellor, Ogundipe, said that the university’s management, with the support of members of staff, students and alumni, had worked closely to open new grounds.
He said that the university had expanded frontiers in the areas of infrastructure, improved teaching methods, research, innovation and community service.