Monday, 21st March has begun with a drama as Ife indigenes decided to act on the non appointment of Ife indigene as Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University by resuming a protest which they have started since Thursday, March 17. But this time, the protest was at the school gate, hindering people from going in or out of the University campus.
On Thursday, a Professor of Agricultural Economics from the university’s Faculty of Agriculture, Adebayo Bamire was appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. This was announced by the Governing Council of the University, through the council’s Chairman, Osear Udoji who stated clearly that Bamire defeated 19 other applicants to emerge the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the university.
However, the indigenes of Ile-Ife were not pleased with this result which eventually led to protest by some of the indigenes. They restricted inflow and outflow of people into the university’s main entrance, causing gridlock as students, staffers and other people that were moving towards the gate were held up for some minutes.
The group of protesters were saying, “we are not thieves, we are not causing violence, we are asking for our rights.”
“We are asking the management of Obafemi Awolowo University to allow an Ife Indigene to head this campus.
The protesters were asking people to go back home, including the students of the university, adding that the Ife indigenes were being enslaved on the campus and it was time for them to rule.
It was reported that Udoji explained that the council reviewed the Curriculum Vitae of the 20 applicants who indicated an interest in the position, adding that at the end of the exercise, 16 of them were shortlisted, having met the advertised criteria.
Udoji stated that,
“The interaction with the candidates began on Monday, March 14, 2022, and ended on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
“All the 16 candidates appeared before the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board, with 15 of them present physically and one, at his request, virtually.
“The Selection Board painstakingly examined the Curriculum Vitae and interacted with each candidate, and scored them accordingly to stipulated criteria. The three highest-scoring candidates were presented to the council for further consideration as provided by the law.
“The entire exercise of the Joint Selection Board was witnessed by the representatives of the Federal Character Commission who have confirmed that the exercise was fair and transparent and carried out in full compliance with the provisions of the Federal Character Commission Act.
“In line with the provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act as amended, the report of the Selection Board was considered by the council which, after a careful and dispassionate review of the report, decided to appoint Prof Adebayo Bamire, Professor of Agricultural Economics from the Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as the Vice-Chancellor of the University with effect from June 7, 2022.”