BARING any unforeseen contingency, members of the Senate of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, will today meet to pick the acting Vice Chancellor (VC) for the institution.
The development followed Monday’s directive issued by President Muhammadu Buhari to the university Senate to recommend an eligible person, who would be appointed acting VC, pending the appointment of substantive VC.
The university has been embroiled in crisis as a result of the appointment of Professor Abayomi Salami as the VC, a development which triggered series of protests from members of Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Associations of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and indefinite closure of the institution.
Confirming today’s meeting of the university Senate to the Nigerian Tribune, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of OAU, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, said “the members of the Senate needed to be informed 72 hours ahead of the meeting,” disclosing that the Senate, comprising the school’s serving professors, have been duly notified.”
He said the university community were anxious to know the would-be acting VC, saying arrangements had already been made for the meeting today.
According to Olanrewaju, “there is uneasy calm on campus because the Senate will meet today, Thursday, July 21. But the campus is peaceful like graveyard. The law of the university says that the Senate must be given 72 hours notice of meeting.
“President Buhari gave the directive on Monday and the 72 hours notice will lapse on Thursday, for adequate convergence of the meeting. All professors will meet and pick one of them with high profile and integrity as an acting VC.
“After the meeting, the name and profile of the man chosen will be forwarded to the Minister of Education for onward transfer to President Buhari for approval and consequent announcement to the public,” he added.
Olanrewaju, however, hinted that the administrative block was still shut by the workers and no one had been allowed access to it since the exit of the immediate past VC Professor Bamitale Omole.
“The situation is dicey, workers insisted that they will not open until acting VC is announced. The workers said they would open the Senate Building for the new acting VC as a mark of honour.
“Although the workers have been dancing and jubilating, despite the fact that they have not been paid their salaries, they still lay siege on the campus, preventing officers from gaining entrance,” he stated.