One of the 16 shortlisted candidates for the position of Vice-Chancellor at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Rufus Adedoyin, has petitioned the Governing Council of the university over the announcement of Prof Adebayo Bamire as the 12th substantive VC of OAU.
Adedoyin argued that he was more qualified than other candidates as of the time of the VC selection process, stating reasons he deserved to be appointed OAU VC.
He made this known in a petition titled, ‘Re: 2022 selection of Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria …A petition against the prejudicial actions of the Governing Council chairman (Owelle Oscar Udoji) and other selection committee members …a pre-action notice.”
Results of the screening obtained by our correspondent showed that Adedoyin, who hails from Ile-Ife, came ninth in the screening.
Since the announcement Bamire as the 12th substantive Vice-Chancellor of OAU, some Ife indigenes commenced protest.
The protesters argued that an Ife indigene should have been appointed.
Determined to ensure the installation of an Ile-Ife indigene as the next OAU VC, some indigenes entered the varsity’s campus with charms and other fetish objects on Monday.
They also closed the varsity’s two major gates, thereby preventing staff, students, and other stakeholders from either coming into or leaving the University.
The protests by the Ife indigenes started last Thursday, March 17, 2022, shortly after the University Governing Council, led by its Chairman, Owelle Oscar Udoji, announced a professor of Agricultural Economics, Bamire, as the 12th substantive VC.
The protesters, who initially blocked the main gate of the University on the first day and threatened staff and students to stay away from campus, allegedly became violent the second day as they beat up workers, particularly the staff of the Security Unit, and vandalised their office at the Main Gate.
Some of the security workers were reportedly taken to the University’s Health Centre for treatment.
On Monday, March 21, 2022, the protest took another dimension as the protesting indigenes blocked the two major gates as early as 6: 00 am, entering the campus with charms, and other fetish items.
Videos that surfaced online showed the protesters assembled at the motion ground of the University Secretariat, dressed in all-white spiritual traditional attire, chanting incantations and performing rituals.
Adedoyin, who is of the Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences of OAU, complained that the selection process was “irregular, inconsistent, biased and unjust”.
The professor accused the OAU VC, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede, of allegedly profiling him as an “Ife man” whose candidature should be opposed.
He called for “an investigation and review of the entire appointment process he the appropriate and independent authorities other than the compromised Selection Committee as presently constituted.”
He listed the premises for his request as:
– That the exercise lacked transparency and was riddled with manipulations. particularly’ on the part of the Chairman of the Council with actual acquiesce on the part of the members;
– That the criteria were deliberately manipulated in favour of Professor A. S. Bamire using standards that were neither previously in use nor anticipated by the applicants;
– That some criteria were deliberately scored more than once for some candidates with a view to manipulating the process;
– That I can boldly say that I hold excellent credentials in terms of academic visibility, grant attraction, human capital development i.e. doctoral and other supervisions, national, and community services, and social responsibilities to the university community;
– That, in spite of intimidation during the interview session in which issues and matters extraneous to Vice Chancellor’s responsibilities were maliciously put to me. I believe I was able to rise up excellently to the occasion;
– That the Vice Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede had consistently profiled me with prejudicial statements in meetings and all available opportunities, including in Council meetings, as an Ife man whose candidature should be opposed at all costs for reasons best known to him;
– And that the Chairman of the Council and other committee members were biased, manipulative, preferential and malicious against my candidacy.
The Public Relations Officer of the University, Abiodun Olarewaju, stated that the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board shortlisted 16 candidates for the interaction for the post of Vice-Chancellor.
He noted that 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.
While speaking with our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday, Olarewaju said allegations raised by Adedoyin against the VC and the Governing Council chairman would be “addressed when the petition is submitted officially to the university authorities”.
According to him, 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 around 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.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no member of the Board had foreknowledge of each candidate’s score before the final collation at the end of the interaction.
“The University hereby affirms that due processes were followed and merit was the basis for the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor,” he had said in a statement issued on Monday.