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,
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
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.