I am deeply convinced that it is indefensibly wrong to dissolve the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Governing Council because of two uncoordinated unions (NASU and SSANU), which do not even have a say in the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor (VC). Till the time of the writing of this piece, there has not been any evidence produced by the two unions or any other group to support the claim that the Governing Council tinkered with the procedure on the appointment of Professor Ayobami Salami as the VC of the university.
May we report to the President and the conscientious members of the public that the discovery by members of the university is that the law governing the appointment of VC was not ignored by the Governing Council in the process that produced the current VC.
It is impossible to embark on that evil considering the fact that varied layers are involved in the process. Rather than dissolve the body, it is this process that the Visitor should have investigated.
And the unions which claim a court issued a restraining order against the Governing Council have not shown anybody a copy of the judgement. The copies bona fide members of that university have is one of notice, which the university Registrar reported the school acknowledged.
But to these unions and their nondescript supporters, there is no difference between notice of a court case and direct restraining order.
Moreover, it has since been discovered that the actions of NASU and SSANU are in two parts; one, the unions are afraid that Prof. Salami will act like his predecessor by not paying their allowances. Smart, albeit only by half, the unions refrain from saying this so as not to be viewed as being lawless and impatient with the new VC.
Again, SSANU and NASU, as it was discovered, have two failed candidates for the position of VC and as such, felt they had failed when none of the two was appointed.
However, to resolve the stalemate in OAU, it will be wrong for the Visitor to commit another illegal act by appointing an Acting VC when there is a substantive one in office.
Since only a court can nullify the appointment of Professor Salami, the Visitor should put an end to the embarrassing deadlock by constituting another Governing Council that will work with the VC in place, while the court case should go on. It is unacceptable and evil to keep the innocent students at home because some unions which do not have a say in the appointment of a VC cannot be bold enough to make their demand for the payment of their owed allowances without joining forces with bad losers.
- Kunle Orelope,
Ile-Ife, Osun State.