The dissolution of the governing council of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), lle-Ife, Osun State, has taken a new dimension as members have petitioned the visitor to the institution, President Muhammadu Buhari, saying: “as free citizens saddled with such high social responsibility, we deserve more.”
It will be recalled that on July 1, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, in a personally signed advertorial in one of the national dailies, had announced the dissolution of the governing council of OAU with immediate effect and suspended the process of the appointment of the substantive vice chancellor of the institution.
The crisis which has led to the closure of the institution, was reported to have surrounded the appointment of a vice chancellor for the institution.
Interestingly, the new vice chancellor, Professor Ayobami Taofeek Salami, a former deputy vice chancellor (Academic), had since assumed duty to succeed Professor Bamitale Omole, whose tenure expired on June23, 2016.
Dissatisfied with the dissolution without prior notice nor any query, the six external members of the governing council, on July 8, in a petition sent to President Buhari, a copy which was obtained by the Nigerian Tribune, stated that “we were, however, astonished when we heard in the media, including advertorial in print media, that our council, together with that of the University of Port Harcourt, has been dissolved with immediate effect on July, 1.”
The petition which was signed by Professor Rowland Ndoma-Egba, chairman of the council, on behalf of others added “we are also, unable to say why our council was also dissolved since the advertorial did not say so.”
“We feel obliged, however, that it is in the interest of our integrity given the high confidence reposed in us by government to adduce the possible reasons for this action and perhaps ,present our side of the story”
Other members of the council are Omoleye Daniel, Chief Moses Otazi, Honourable Tijani Goni Guzamala, Mr S.I. Ameh and Ms Ann Ebunoluwa Haruna
According to the petition” we are left with no other option than this since we were not queried or given the opportunity to defend ourselves before the punishment was meted out. Perhaps ,as a free citizens saddled with such high social responsibility, we deserve more. Our objective is not to challenge government action but to leave a written permanent record of events that probably led to the dissolution of OAU council”
However, Professor Ndoma Egba, told the Nigerian Tribune that the appointment of Professor Salami, followed due process as the council made use of the guidelines produced by the Federal Ministry of Education in conjunction with the National Universities Commission(NUC)