THE responsibility of selecting the Vice Chancellor based on the autonomy given to Nigerian Federal universities is solely the duty of the University Governing Council as quoted in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2003, otherwise called the Universities Autonomy Act No. 1, 2007 and the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2012.
The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Governing Council under the leadership of Prof. Rowland Ndoma Egba, followed due process as stated by the law in selecting the newly-appointed VC. The Visitor to the university, who is the President of Nigeria, has the power under the law to dissolve the governing council if found guilty of any corruption in the selection process. To this date, no litigation has been instituted in the court of law against the legitimate processes that produced Prof. Ayobami T. Salami.
It is natural and one would expect some individuals to raise eyebrow on this kind of matter but in an academic environment endowed with erudite scholars, agitations are supposed to be addressed in a court of law instead of using the unions to achieve selfish goals
After the illegal dissolution of the Governing Council through the Minister of Education, the said unions (NASU and SSANU) have not desisted from performing daily rituals, beatings, using all sorts of violence and intimidation against members of the university community whose opinions are contrary to their illegal actions, and performing all kind of acts that should not be identified with a leading ivory tower.
Some power hungers among the supposed intellectuals descended so low to the extent of carrying coffin in the university environment in broad day- light, some of them went to the extent of humiliating the newly-appointed VC in his apartment before his family. NASU and SSANU are known to be articulate and honest critiques of the university management but embarrassing the newly-appointed VC in his residence is an action that has serious political and parochial undertone.
Some toothless bulldogs among these scholars have left their primary assignments. They now go about clamouring for the selection of an acting VC. The big question is; what do they really want? And what is their gain? They are expected to call the unions together, dialogue with them, thus, approach the school management in order to nip the crisis in the bud.
Therefore, the Vice Chancellor duly elected by the Governing Council should be allowed to perform the civic duties given to him under the law.
The unions (NASU and SSANU), through their leaders, should have a roundtable meeting with the newly-appointed VC on how to meet their pending legitimate demands.
- Fisoye Fagbohun,