VC appointment: Protesting Ife indigenes carry rituals to campus


INDIGENES of Ile-Ife, Osun State, protesting the appointment of a non-native as Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, on Monday stormed the institution with traditionalists.

According to video clips of the protest obtained by our correspondent, the protesters walking bare footed, appeared in white clothes and marched from the university’s gate.

In one of the clips, the traditionalists formed a circle in front of the institution’s Senate Building and were dancing round and chanting praises of Osun river goddess.

The protesters also allegedly beat up some security men at the main gate of the university, while attempting to take over the area.

While the protest lasted, the protesters, prevented movement in and out of the university and reportedly chased some workers out of their duty posts at the Senate Building.

One of the organisers of the protest, who did not want his name in print, while speaking with our correspondent, however denied allegations that they attacked staff members and chased them out of their offices.

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“It was a peaceful protest. Nobody was harmed, nobody was harassed. The entire Ife city is not happy with the oppression unleashed on us,” he said.

Commenting on the traditionalists that stormed the campus, he said, “It is true. Ife is a home of tradition. It is one of the ways to press home our demands. We had them around to pray on our demands, for them to appease our gods.”

He warned that the protest would continue until the Federal Government opens discussion with them.

In a statement by OAU Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, the school authorities said during the protest, staff members, students, and other stakeholders were prevented from entering the campus.

“Today, Monday, March 21, 2022, things took more dangerous dimensions as the indigenes beat up some OAU students who they met at the gate, blocked the two major gates as early as 6am, coming into the campus with charms, and other fetish items.

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“They assembled at the motion ground of the university secretariat, dressed in all-white spiritual traditional attire, chanting incantations while performing rituals,” the statement read

Explaining how the new Vice Chancellor was selected, Olanrewaju said the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board had shortlisted 16 candidates for the post.

“The candidates, whose names were arranged in alphabetical order, were called in for interaction and each was scored by each member of the Selection Board. The score sheets of each assessor for individual candidates were dropped into an envelope and sealed, with the signature of the Chairman of Council on each one.

“At the end of the interaction, the sealed envelopes were opened one after the other and announced to all the members. The score sheets were thereafter passed round for sighting. Then, the scores of the candidates were collated with Microsoft Excel and ranked from the highest to the lowest. The candidate with the highest score was eventually announced as the Vice Chancellor by the Governing Council,” he added.

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