LASU VC: MDCAN Urges Sanwo-Olu To Ensure Due Process

Posted on: Sat 16-01-2021

The leadership of the  Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has raised the alarm over what it described as a calculated attempt to kick out their member, Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya from the contest of Lagos State University (LASU) Vice Chancellorship position, on account, that he is not a PhD holder.

In a statement jointly signed by the President and Secretary-General of MDCAN, Prof. Ken Ozoilo, and Dr.M.P. Chingle, they appealed to Lagos state Governor,  Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to ensure that due process is followed during the selection process of LASU Vice-Chancellor.

The statement stated that, “MDCAN is particularly concerned by the termination of the process by the Visitor to the institution and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, a process in which a Consultant Public Health Physician, an obvious the target of the vicious and unconscionable media campaign of calumny, Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya stood in the clear lead.

“It is of great concern to us that the number one candidate on the shortlist in the erstwhile process, who is a holder of the Fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) has been much maligned and portrayed in a bad light with aspersions cast over his suitability for the post of VC, on account of his non-possession of a Ph.D. degree.

“This is to acknowledge the forthrightness and knowledge base demonstrated the Governing Council of LASU concerning  Postgraduate Medical Education of in rightly considering this candidate for the position of Vice-Chancellor.”

“Possession of Ph.D. for Clinical Lecturers is optional (non-obligatory) and does not apply as criteria for employment nor for career progression of Clinical lecturers in the Nigerian University system as expressly restated by the National Universities Commission (NUC) vide circular ref: NUC/ES/138/VOL.63/53 of 3rd of March 2020.”

They argued that “several Fellowship holders are currently serving as Vice-Chancellors in different federal and state universities in Nigeria. These include the present President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof I. A. O. Ujah, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, the VC of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo who does not hold a Ph.D.

“Prof B. B. Shehu, a Consultant Neurosurgeon, is also VC of Federal University, Birnin Kebbi. He is a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, and does not hold a Ph.D. Prof Aliyu Usman El-Naferty, a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist is the current VC of the Gombe State University; he is a Fellow and does not hold a Ph.D. Prof Chigozie Ogbu, is a Consultant Paediatrician, does not hold a Ph.D., and is the Vice-Chancellor of the Ebonyi State University.

“ Indeed, past occupants of the position in  LASU have been Fellowship holders, including the recently deceased first Vice-Chancellor Prof F. Olumide, a Consultant Surgeon and most recently, Prof John Obafunwa, a Consultant Pathologist who does not hold a Ph.D. Several Fellows of the College have also in the past held the position of Vice-Chancellor despite not having a Ph.D.”

“The immediate past Honorable Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, he is a Fellow and does not hold a Ph.D.

“ The first  Nigerian  Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1962 – 66), Prof. Ishaya Audu, was also a Fellowship holder who did not have a Ph.D.

Meanwhile, some prominent indigenes of Lagos State have expressed concern over the cancellation of the Lagos State University Vice-Chancellor selection committee’s recommendation for the post of Vice-Chancellor

In a statement signed by Chief Adesunbo Onitiri, socio-political activist and critic, on behalf of the group, the indigenes expressed concern that the due process carried out by eminent and erudite scholars for the selection was being jettisoned.

The statement read: “We received the news of the cancellation of the selection of the new Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU) by Governor Sanwo-Olu with utmost shock and bewilderment.

“There was no genuine reason for the cancellation of the due process carried out by eminent and erudite scholars.”

“The list is endless, but it is pertinent to add that all have discharged themselves creditably.”

“The salient point is that the peculiarity of Medical Education and training is such that the highest  Academic and Professional qualification for doctors is the Fellowship.

“This is also the only qualification that permits an academic to teach Medicine and Surgery in the University as no other degree suffices, including Ph.D.

”Importantly, the content, intensity, and duration of the Fellowship training program is such that while Ph.D. holders are employed into the University system as Lecturer II, holders of the Fellowship of the Medical Colleges are employed into the University as lecturer I (one step higher). This is extant and is verifiable from any Nigerian University or the NUC.”

The statement added:  ”We urge the governor to have a rethink and complete the due process by announcing one of the three names shortlisted for him in the interest of fair play and justice.”

The group believes that the seven members of the Joint Governing Council and Senate Selection Committee were credible individuals worthy of their positions in the university.

Source: Thenation