By Cyriacus Nnaji
How do you celebrate a man who in five years of becoming the Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU) brought unquantifiable transformations in both infrastructure and human resources development to the citadel of learning which before then was a basket of crisis which nobody or organisation wanted to associate with?
Fagbohun propelled the university to occupy 2nd best university position in Nigeria according to Times University ranking. Since Fagbohun’s coming the university has enjoyed peace and has been winning laurels both nationally and internationally. Different bodies now extend grants for research and infrastructural development of the university because they see transparency.
Icon Builders, a group formed for the promotion of excellence at the LASU as part of their acknowledgement of the sterling and excellent performances of the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun, has lined up series of activites to appreciate the iconic VC.
Icon Builders has also organized a novelty football Match at the main campus of the university in Ojo in honour of the Vice Chancellor on Thursday December 3, 2020.
However the grand item in the order of programmes lined up to celebrate the man who came to LASU, saw and Conquered, Professor Fagbonun, was the Official Launch of a TV Documentary & Compendium, It was also to review a book that encapsulates the actions, roles and achievement of the iconic VC in the five years of his administration of LASU as its Vice Chancellor.
The Guest Speaker, Prof. EphiphanyAzinge in his speech titled ‘Labour Union-Management Relationship in a University Setting’ examine Fagbohun’s approach and style of management that helped him in successfully navigating the stormy terrains of LASU Union| Management relationship.
What was the secret? Where did he acquire the magic wand?
“Knowing Prof Fagbogun SAN as I do, his attainments or accomplishment can only be attributable to his strategic approach to solving issues. He has exceptional capacity to assess his challenges, plot his solutions and execute accordingly. Above all is an endearing personality enhanced by his inter-personal skills, his charming oratory and mesmerising humility. These are abiding qualities that can melt the heart of any Union leaders and LASU Union leaders (including students union) can attest positively to these disarming qualities,” he said.
He said the achievements of Prof Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun led Administration in the last 5 years is well chronicled and ably documented for posterity. They are as outstanding as they are mind-boggling. The truth, which is self-evident, however is that these achievements would not have been possible if management and the unions had continued with their senseless tussle and lingering crisis and rancour.
Credit therefore to Prof Fagbohun for the masterly way, he handled the challenges of Unionism in LASU.
Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Princess ArelopeAdefulire on her part thanked the public for celebrating excellence, adding that whoever that will be taking over from Fagbohun has a lot of work to do as he is leaving a giant shoe that will be too big to match.
Chairman House Committee, Lagos House of Assembly Hon. YinkaOgundimu, said Fagbohun is a team player, a transparent person, a man who is good at delegating powers and ready to get feedback, adding that Fagbohun has used his personal contacts outside the shores of the country to assist in building LASU.
Speaking on succession of the VC, he said the New Vice chancellor will definitely come from LASU, stressing that LASU must strive to go for the best “There is no room for second best. It is garbage in garbage out.”
Professor BiodunAkinpelu, Director Centre for General Nigerian Studies, Lagos State University and an Icon Builder said
“We noted that LASU is undergoing a transformation, it is no longer the LASU of old, now we should prepare a template, to make it permanent, the goal is to make what we are experiencing a very permanent one. We are preparing a template that will be useful for leaders of Lagos State University and to also prepare a package for other Vice Chancellors, for other universities so that we can have peaceful university environment, we can have progress. A situation where it is always attack and attack; crisis upon crisis; violence all the time; that is not the normal, and we have been able to experiment within the last five years and we noted that it can work; universities in Nigeria can be peaceful.
“In other lands it is never like this, in UK there are universities, same as USA, but in Nigeria it is always strike upon strike, industrial crisis from one level to another, dismissal all the time, why can’t we have it right, are we cursed?
In all these, he said Professor Fagbohun epitomizes excellent an administrator.
Also at a novelty Football Match at LASU main campus in Ojo, Nigeria’s iconic goalkeeper and Ambassador, African Students Football Union, Peter Rufai, commended the Vice Chancellor, Fagbohun for his excellent achievements in five years of his administration.
Rufai gave the commendation while speaking as the Guest of Honour at the Novelty Football Match played in honour of Professor Fagbohun, the iconic outgoing 8th substantive Vice Chancellor of the Institution, at Ojo on Thursday.
The football event was organized by the Icon Builders in honour of a man who brought great transformation and internationalization to the institution, having served LASU from 2016, and due to bow out in January 2021.
‘I remembered coming sometime ago to seek approval for use of the Campus Football pitch, and to my greatest surprise I was given the green light to make use of the pitch. Some of the things I see on the campus today were not there. Coming in today to witness a beauty of a campus, you know indeed, I have the real honour of facts to say that Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun (SAN) and his management have been able to do this wonderful work on the campus,” Rufai said.
Dodo Mayan, as he is fondly called also commended the wife of the Vice Chancellor for his patience and being a partner in progress. “It is said behind every successful man there is a woman, I want to give this special acknowledgment to Madam Fagbohun for her wonderful support and patience all these years, I want to say, Madam, well done and thank you.”