According to reports, Fresh crisis is brewing at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, over the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Taofeek Salami, who was former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of the university.
The Governing Council of the university announced the appointment. It was gathered that the decision to appoint Professor Salami VC was reached at the council’s meeting on Monday in Abuja. There had been legal tussle on the appointment of the new vice chancellor for the institution.
The non-teaching staff of the university including Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) had kicked against the procedure for the selection. Upon the announcement of Professor Salami as the new Vice Chancellor, the workers of the university embarked on protest, kicking against the choice of Salami, alleging that he was sponsored to replace Bamitale Omole to cover up his deeds in the office.
It was gathered that the workers had alleged that Bamitale Omole, the outgoing vice chancellor, mismanaged the institution’s money running into several millions of naira. As at the time of filling in this report, it was learnt that the workers of the university had chased staff out of the various offices and locked them up in protest against the appointment.
The fresh students of the university just resumed two weeks ago and were undergoing orientation courses while the old students are expected to return to campus on June 25, 2016.
A source said that the fresh students might be asked to leave the campus should the situation become unbearable for the management. It was further learnt that the outgoing vice chancellor and other top management staff were yet to return to the university for comment. Professor Salami was a former director, Institute of Ecology in the university before his appointment.
SSANU and NASU had dragged the council to court to stop the process on the allegation of deliberately ignoring the rules guiding appointment of a new VC.
Six candidates were initially shortlisted but only three, including Salami, were invited for the final interview by the council.