AN umbrella organization of associations of indigenes of Ilorin emirate in Kwara state, the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) has called for unity of purpose among indigenes of the emirate, saying that any attack on an indigene of Ilorin should be seen as a direct attack on the whole people.
The organization also condemned recent media attack on person of the outgoing vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, describing it as mischievous.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin at the weekend, the national president of the organization, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi, said the aim of masterminds of the attack was to bring down outgoing VC from Ilorin so that another VC would not emerge from the emirate.
Alhaji Adi, who said that security, peaceful coexistence and smooth academic activities of the university were of concern to the IEDPU as host community and special stakeholders, added that, “any attack on them (indigenes of Ilorin) is a direct attack on us a people”.
The group said that it was not out to shield Professor Ambali unnecessarily, adding that it could not watch “people or group of people to rubbish the feats attained by the university in general and the vice chancellor in particular who happens to come from Ilorin Emirate
“We owe ourselves, and generations to come, the obligation to speak out against those who are malicious and mischievous simply because our people have been making marks on the sands of history. Our own son did things differently to the extent that today everyone wants to gain admission into the University of Ilorin. The current ranking of the university speaks eloquently for our son’s courage and doggedness. It’s our responsibility to ensure that our own people are not disgraced, embarrassed or ashamed. Any attack on them is a direct attack on us as a people.
“It is our hope and prayer that sentiments against Ilorin and what Ilorin stands for and represents should be stopped forthwith as the hatred being exhibited by Ilorinphobists cannot yield any fruit but retrogression for the entire system. Leadership is given and taken by God only and no amount of blackmail can stop Him from His majestic powers to rule and overrule”, he said.
Alhaji Adi, who said that Ilorin people had always supported five vice chancellors of the university, that were from outside the immediate host community before Professor Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem, lamented alleged hostility to Ilorin sons whenever they were in charge.
The IEDPU also called on the national executive council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to organize a free, fair and credible election in the university’s chapter of the union to ensure peace and unfettered operation, saying that the issues which culminated in the emergence of two factions of ASUU in the university should be resolved.