SOME indigenes of Ife protesting the appointment of a non-native as Vice Chancellor again on Tuesday stormed the institution’s campus with two masqueraders bearing sacrifice which was placed in front of the university’s Senate Building.
The protesters, who had earlier taken over the main entrance to the university, prevented movement into and out of the campus.
In one of the video clips of the protest obtained by our correspondent, the two masqueraders could be seen offering sacrifice at the main gate to the university, as some people watched them.
Also in the clip, the masqueraders were flanked by some people, as one of them, carrying earthen pot containing the sacrifice, chanted incantation, while others watched.
In another video, a masquerader bearing a earthen pot containing sacrifice of solid pap sprinkled with red oil, accompanied by another masquerader and some people could be seen walking towards the front of VC’s car park where he placed the sacrifice.
Some staffers of the university, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the presence of the protesters grounded activities on campus, saying many staffers that could not gain access to the university because the entrance was locked, had to return home.
Meanwhile, Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has appealed to citizens of Ile-Ife to give peace a chance and stop the protest forthwith.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Tuesday, Oyetola noted that Ivory Towers anywhere in the world are sacred institutions and everything must be done to accord them that dignity.
Oyetola, who noted that though the state has no role in the choice of who becomes the Vice Chancellor of the university, being a Federal institution, he has responsibility for the safety and security of the institution and its workers as the host governor.
Also, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu , on Tuesday condemned the protest.
Akeredolu alleged that the protest is being sponsored by some people who lost out in the process of selection of the VC.
He made his position known in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday.
The statement read in parts, “The appointment of the Vice Chancellor, an erstwhile rancour-free internal process, has now become a subject of not only intense politicking among the academics and their non-teaching counterparts. The process has, deplorably, been extended to the town with the attendant malcontents.
“The latest news on the invasion of the campus by some Ife indigenes and traditionalists, allegedly, to protest the failure by the authorities to appoint ‘an Ife indigene’, showcases the extent to which the system has sunk, almost irretrievably. This is, perhaps, symptomatic of the pervasive rot in the academia. This thoughtless, reckless and misguided step forebodes untoward occurrences in the future.
“A situation which sees totally extraneous elements to the university environment invade the serene ambience to offer support, presumably solicited and sponsored by those who may have lost out in the selection process, is lamentable. There can be no worse signs than this outward display of attitudes alien to the academia.”
Meanwhile, an aspirant for the post of Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Rufus Adedoyin, has called for investigation and review of the appointment of Prof. Simeon Bamire, who was announced VC-elect by the Governing Council of the institution.
Adedoyin’s petition which was addressed to Secretary/Chairman of Governing Council, was also copied to the President, Maj.-Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (retd.); Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; and the Chancellor of the university,
In his petition, Adedoyin said the exercise lacked transparency and was riddled with manipulation, adding that the criteria were manipulated to favour Bamire through standards that were not anticipated and not in use for such exercise previously.
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