Pro-chancellors condemn protest against new OAU VC appointment, demand probe

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The Committee of Pro-chancellors of Federal Universities has described as unfortunate the protests against the appointment of the new Vice-chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University by the indigenes of Ile-Ife, Osun State.

The PUNCH had reported how the announcement of Prof Adebayo Bamire as the 12th substantive VC of OAU sparked a series of protests led by some Ife indigenes. The protesters argued that an Ife indigene should have been appointed.

The PUNCH gathered that Prof Rufus Adedoyin, who hails from Ile-Ife, came ninth in the screening, which saw 16 candidates shortlisted for interaction for the post of VC by the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board.

Determined to ensure the installation of an Ile-Ife indigene as the next OAU VC, some indigenes entered the varsity’s campus with fetish objects.

But the Committee of Pro-Chancellors in a communique signed by its chairman, Professor Nimi-Briggs, and made available to The PUNCH on Wednesday, argued that the OAU as a Federal Institution has staff and students from all over Nigeria and the world hence the Vice-chancellor can come from any part of Nigeria, and globally.

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“The insistence that an indigene of Ife be appointed to the position of Vice-Chancellor that formed the basis of the protest is very unfortunate at two levels. First, OAU, is a federal institution and has staff from all over Nigeria. Second, and more importantly, it is a university that recruits staff and students from all over the world. In the same vein, the Vice-chancellor can come from any part of Nigeria and the wider world”.

The joint body of Pro-chancellors also called for an investigation into the disruptions.

“While several meaning Nigerians and other stakeholders such as the Alumni association of OAU, the Osun state as well as the palace of the Ooni of Ife have condemned the act, the Committee of Pro-chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities insists that this matter be properly investigated by the country’s law enforcement agencies and criminal charges be brought against those who fomented it.

“This will serve as a deterrence towards future occurrences and protect the Vice-chancellor when he assumes office”.

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