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Why Sanwo-Olu must be Commended for LASU’s Governing Council Appointments - Education - Nairaland

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Why Sanwo-Olu must be Commended for LASU’s Governing Council Appointments by Passion2009: 10:45am On Aug 02
*Why Governor Sanwo-Olu Must Be Commended for LASU’s Governing Council Appointments*

Exactly five years ago, I remember walking around the LASU Ojo campus with a heart filled with regrets and hopelessness as a LASU student. LASU for years had a history plagued by different forms of crisis, cultism and mediocrity. Yet, due to the competitive and difficult nature of university admission processes in Nigeria, I decided to apply to study in LASU in 2013. A decision that haunted and nearly forced me into depression during my formative years in the Ojo campus. ”I regret coming to LASU”, I constantly reminded myself during my classes at the faculty of science.

As fate would have it, just like the story of Jabez in the Bible, my story as a LASU student began to change dramatically during my 300-level days in 2016. A new governing council was constituted and a new vice-chancellor had just resumed office. Until this period of my life, I never thought that fast and real-time radical changes are possible in Nigeria. From the university’s road network to accreditation of programs, faculty research, student innovations, the annihilation of cultism and a revamp in the university’s infrastructural landscape: the LASU I knew as a 200level student in 2015 transformed in a few months like a dream. It was a surreal experience!
Today, whenever I read discouraging news about Nigeria as a Nigerian living in the United Kingdom, the story of LASU gives me hope that Nigeria can still solve its leadership conundrum.

Over the last five years, LASU has redefined itself from a university known for crisis to a reputable institution leading the way in meaningful research, innovations, and all-round excellence. The LASU narrative and buzz words on the pages of newspapers used to be ”strike, closed down, riot, shot, decaying, union crisis, sent out”. Searching the name of LASU on Google then generated disheartening results that were capable of inciting suicidal thoughts. While typing this article, I googled the word ”LASU” and the results that came up made me proud of my alma mater; the most recent news being a report about a team of LASU students defeating over 200 applicants across Nigeria in a competition organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization. So, what changed? Leadership! Two life experiences have taught me the importance of leadership to humanity. First, my experience in LASU before and after 2016; and my experience living in Nigeria and Europe. Leadership matters and LASU got it right a few years ago with the emergence of Professor Adebayo Ninalowo Governing Council and the Professor Lanre Fagbohun led management team. As a LASU student and now Alumnus, I watched how this duo and their colleagues meandered LASU to greatness even in the midst of herculean challenges and historical odds. My program in the faculty of science was struggling to get accredited in 2015 but it became fully accredited before I graduated. Perhaps, the most important achievement of the current university administrators is industrial harmony. A plethora of industrial crisis held back LASU for many years. Yet, this crop of leaders has been able to earn the unwavering support and trust of overwhelming members of the LASU Community.

Regardless, a few days ago, I was on the Twitter page of one of the Lagos state government officials when the announcement of the constitution of a new LASU governing council was made. Professor Ninalowo and Emeritus Professor Shafiudeen Amuwo were among those named as the newly constituted members of the LASU Governing Council. Disturbingly, some commentators, out of misleading information or ignorance of the LASU dynamics, bemoaned the Governor’s reappointment of Professor Ninalowo as the Chairman of the LASU Governing Council. The growth of LASU while admirable is still fragile. It is currently at a stage where a complete overhaul of its top echelon would be counterproductive. The tenure of the current VC will end in a few months and he will not be returning. Consequently, having an entirely new management leadership and a completely new governing council membership will hamper LASU’s transition to sustainable excellence. Progress is always gradual and it most times requires planned changes. It will be an unwise gamble to field only new faces on the Council considering how volatile LASU can be.

A new VC with a totally new Council will not augur well for the continuous growth of the University; bearing in mind the several mischief and misconduct that the administration of Prof. Lanre Fagbohun has been bold enough to confront. What Governor Sanwo-Olu has succeeded in doing by bringing back Prof. Ninalowo and Emeritus Prof. Amuwo is to entrench a continuity of the excellence that has now become a regular trademark of the new LASU. To avoid derailing LASU from its present path of growth and pride, we must not suddenly overhaul a team that has not failed us.

*Ayobamidele Yusuf is a LASU graduate and he writes from the United Kingdom where he works as a laboratory scientist.*

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