The Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. John Obafunwa has said the school will remain shut even after appearing before the Lagos State House of Assembly where lawmakers ordered the school authorities to reopen the registration portal whose closure to 1,292 students of the school prompted protests.
The VC, who spoke to Vanguard, after meeting with the lawmakers on Friday said the management of the school was uncertain when the school will re-open as an assessment of the damages caused by the students’ protest needed to be carried out and measures taken to clean up the university.
Under a matter of urgency in its plenary session, on Thursday, the House had summoned the VC and his management team, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Mr. Bode Agusto, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, and members of the Students’ Union Government to appear before it in order to ascertain the root causes of the chaos, while proffering solutions.
Obafunwa told newsmen men that damage done to the school properties after protests were allegedly hijacked by hoodlums was unquantifiable.
“We have photos of the extent of the damage to the school properties. The damage is unquantifiable. I cannot say, for now, when the school will be re-opened for examinations to continue. I must say that this protest goes behond the issues of not registering for courses, some unscrupulous elements hijacked it to perpetrate mayhem against the school. However, our primary concern now is to get the school ready for students to write exams and for the final year students to be mobilised for their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
“But, I can’t say for now when the school will be re-opened. We have to do a full assessment of the damages and see how to clean up the university. The administrative offices, including mine, the library and other school properties were vandalized by the protesting students. Before now, we were optimistic that the university will end the 2012/2013 academic session by February, and then, by March, the 2013/2014 session commences, but with this sordid situation which was not precipitated by us, the students have drawn us back,” he said.
Obafunwa added that what was important to the school management at the moment is ensuring students return in time for their exams, and not punishing students found culpable in the ‘unquantifiable’ destruction to school properties. “We are not concerned about that. Our major concern is to clean up the school, and call students back for their exams, so that the final year students can be mobilized for service,” he said.