President Goodluck Jonathan has approved a new date for the 2011/2012 convocation of the University of Lagos.
The President had allegedly frustrated the institution’s bid to confer various degrees and diploma certificates on its graduating students last week due to the institution’s alumni association’s rejection of the renaming of the university after late politician, Chief Moshood Abiola last year by the Federal Government.
Jonathan’s refusal to confirm the date of the convocation, it was learnt, compelled the university authorities to hurriedly postpone the convocation initially scheduled for between January 17 and 19, 2013, indefinitely.
But following pressure from stakeholders, the President had approved new dates that would run from February 7 to 9 for the convocation.
A top source at the Federal Ministry of Education, who denied that the President was responsible for the postponement, however, confirmed that the President had, in a letter to UNILAG through the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqquayat Rufa’i, communicated the new dates to the institution.
The source said, “It is true that the federal universities including UNILAG should obtain approval for convocation from the President, who is also the Visitor to these institutions before they could perform such a ceremony. But I can tell you that President Goodluck Jonathan is a law abiding President and a respecter of the rule of law. He did not and could not frustrate the UNILAG convocation because of the crisis trailing the renaming of the institution.
“What caused the seeming delay was the decision of the government to reconstitute a new governing council for some institutions, including UNILAG. We have done that and in fact, one of your senior colleagues in the media, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, is on the council of UNILAG.”
The source also confirmed that government had approved February 7, 8 and 9 as the new dates of the convocation.
The Deputy Registrar, Information of UNILAG, Mr. Oluwatoyin Adebule, also confirmed the new dates.
“Yes, it is true that the convocation that was postponed last week would now hold in February. But I’m sure that President Goodluck Jonathan has not, at any point in time, worked against UNILAG because this institution is his baby,” he said.
He later sent an electronic mail to our correspondent to confirm the new dates.
The statement read, “Authorities of the University of Lagos wish to inform all graduating students, parents/guardians and other stakeholders that the Golden Jubilee Convocation Ceremonies earlier scheduled to hold at the normal convocation period of January 17, 18 and 19 2013 will now hold on Thursday, February 7; Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9, 2013.”