OAU Crisis: Varsity Refuses To Accept New VC, Here’s Hhy

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The Non-academic Staff Union, NASU, Obafemi Awolowo University chapter, is currently at loggerheads with the University authorities (someone would say once again) over the recent appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor by the governing body.

The campus environment has been witnessing constant peaceful but very determined movements, gatherings, blockades, and at the height of it all, non-violent protests by members of the union over what they term “corruption” and “mismanagement of funds” by the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Bamitale Omole and his team, of which the newly announced VC, Professor Ayo Salami was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (admin) during that term.



The current imbroglio is not an isolated incident, but a robust outburst against what is seen as impunity by NASU members who have repeatedly called for the former VC to be probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC before leaving office.
Since, the emergence of Professor Omole as the VC of the institution in 2012, the NASU in OAU have embarked on numerous protests and industrial actions, often times in conjunction with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, to express their desire for prompt payments of arrears owed and allowances unpaid which they attributed to “embezzlement” by the Omole-led administration.
Furthermore, in 2014, the student body, Student Union (widely called SUG) in the university embarked on a massive protest against what was thought to be highhandedness by the School authority over the increment of school fees which was done by the VC because, according to him, even smart phones were more expensive than the school fees’ current structure and that “if students can afford to buy android phones, they could afford the new school fees”.

These statements attributed to his person, made Prof Omole one of the most unpopular VCs in the history of the University since its establishment in 1962.

It is therefore a good pointer in analyzing the current situation in the university, as the new VC, Prof Ayo Salami is considered a stooge of the outgone VC,  Prof Omole who has been accused of embezzling millions of naira in allowances accruing to NASU members throughout his tenure. Hence, the dogged resistance to the appointment of Prof Salami is seen as opposition to corrupt elements taking over the university’s structure once again to cover-up the atrocities committed by his predecessor.

Neutrals point to the developmental projects in the University like the ongoing construction of the new Senate building, the ongoing construction of the Faculty of Law’s Library and Moot and Mock Court, the completed track at the Sport Complex, the installation of optic fibre cables for wireless network in the University’s staff quarters and at halls of residence, as well as the installation of solar panels for clean and alternative power generation at halls of residence atr in line with best global practices.

However, critics highlight that these projects were initiated when allegations of corruption and embezzlement were levelled at Prof Omole and that the projects were implemented towards the end of his tenure so as to convince the Senate and any panel set up within and outside of the School that the monies he’s been accused of diverting or misappropriating were put to proper and judicious use.

They also point to the fact during the visit of the Minister of Information in Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during a function at the University, students called for the Minister to ensure that President Buhari gets the message to probe Prof Omole before he leaves office for alleged sharp practices, which the Minister responded among other things that “…any one accused of corruption under the current administration will be duly investigated”. They claim it was after this fact that the former VC started his “developmental project”.
While speaking to one Mr Abayomi, he revealed that new cars, inflated prices for the University’s expenditure, expensive personal residence renovations, approved hostel renovations were not executed even though funds were released, and that about 48 months of NASU allowances withheld by the Omole-led administration were the examples of sharp practices and the new VC Prof Salami will only continue the trend or at best cover-up his predecessor and that that’s the reason for his appointment which they so vehemently oppose.

Amidst all the confusion and anger in OAU, two things are very clear, one is the fact that the matter is already before a court of competent jurisdiction, the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo Osun State and verdict would be given on the 6th of July 2016 barring any last minute adjournment due to unforeseen circumstances.

Secondly, the opposition to the declaration of Prof Ayo Salami as the new VC of OAU will not be suppressed by any means except through a Court order or by means of dialogue and negotiations with NASU and SSANU members which will give assurances over the investigation of allegations about the past administration or the appointment of a different person as VC altogether, but no one is absolutely certain of how this will end, one can only hope for the best for students who have to stay at home for another few weeks for all these to be resolved.

The campus environment has been witnessing constant peaceful but very determined movements, gatherings, blockades, and at the height of it all, non-violent protests by members of the union over what they term “corruption” and “mismanagement of funds” by the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Bamitale Omole and his team, of which the newly announced VC, Professor Ayo Salami was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (admin) during that term.

The current imbroglio is not an isolated incident, but a robust outburst against what is seen as impunity by NASU members who have repeatedly called for the former VC to be probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC before leaving office.
Since, the emergence of Professor Omole as the VC of the institution in 2012, the NASU in OAU have embarked on numerous protests and industrial actions, often times in conjunction with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, to express their desire for prompt payments of arrears owed and allowances unpaid which they attributed to “embezzlement” by the Omole-led administration.
Furthermore, in 2014, the student body, Student Union (widely called SUG) in the university embarked on a massive protest against what was thought to be highhandedness by the School authority over the increment of school fees which was done by the VC because, according to him, even smart phones were more expensive than the school fees’ current structure and that “if students can afford to buy android phones, they could afford the new school fees”.

These statements attributed to his person, made Prof Omole one of the most unpopular VCs in the history of the University since its establishment in 1962.

It is therefore a good pointer in analyzing the current situation in the university, as the new VC, Prof Ayo Salami is considered a stooge of the outgone VC,  Prof Omole who has been accused of embezzling millions of naira in allowances accruing to NASU members throughout his tenure. Hence, the dogged resistance to the appointment of Prof Salami is seen as opposition to corrupt elements taking over the university’s structure once again to cover-up the atrocities committed by his predecessor.

Neutrals point to the developmental projects in the University like the ongoing construction of the new Senate building, the ongoing construction of the Faculty of Law’s Library and Moot and Mock Court, the completed track at the Sport Complex, the installation of optic fibre cables for wireless network in the University’s staff quarters and at halls of residence, as well as the installation of solar panels for clean and alternative power generation at halls of residence atr in line with best global practices.

However, critics highlight that these projects were initiated when allegations of corruption and embezzlement were levelled at Prof Omole and that the projects were implemented towards the end of his tenure so as to convince the Senate and any panel set up within and outside of the School that the monies he’s been accused of diverting or misappropriating were put to proper and judicious use.

They also point to the fact during the visit of the Minister of Information in Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during a function at the University, students called for the Minister to ensure that President Buhari gets the message to probe Prof Omole before he leaves office for alleged sharp practices, which the Minister responded among other things that “…any one accused of corruption under the current administration will be duly investigated”. They claim it was after this fact that the former VC started his “developmental project”.
While speaking to one Mr Abayomi, he revealed that new cars, inflated prices for the University’s expenditure, expensive personal residence renovations, approved hostel renovations were not executed even though funds were released, and that about 48 months of NASU allowances withheld by the Omole-led administration were the examples of sharp practices and the new VC Prof Salami will only continue the trend or at best cover-up his predecessor and that that’s the reason for his appointment which they so vehemently oppose.

Amidst all the confusion and anger in OAU, two things are very clear, one is the fact that the matter is already before a court of competent jurisdiction, the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo Osun State and verdict would be given on the 6th of July 2016 barring any last minute adjournment due to unforeseen circumstances.

Secondly, the opposition to the declaration of Prof Ayo Salami as the new VC of OAU will not be suppressed by any means except through a Court order or by means of dialogue and negotiations with NASU and SSANU members which will give assurances over the investigation of allegations about the past administration or the appointment of a different person as VC altogether, but no one is absolutely certain of how this will end, one can only hope for the best for students who have to stay at home for another few weeks for all these to be resolved.

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