PIC. 9. CHAIRMAN, SENIOR STAFF ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES (SSANU), OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY (OAU BRANCH), MR ADEMOLA OKETUNDE, LEADING MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION TO GO ROUND THE UNIVERSITY'S SENATE BUILDING SEVEN TIMES, IN A PROTEST AGAINST THE APPOINTMENT OF PROF. AYOBAMI SALAMI AS NEW VICE-CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY, IN ILE-IFE ON TUESDAY (14/6/16). 4342/14/6/2016/JE/BJO/NAN
SOME members of the ObafemiAwolowo University’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) yesterday accused their chairman, Dr. Celeb Aborisade, of misrepresenting the union on the  appointment of Prof. AyobamiTaofeek Salami as vice chancellor.
Speaking with reporters in Osogbo, the state capital, Prof. Adegbola Peter Akinola of OAU Mathematics Department said it was not correct that the ASUU supported the new vice chancellor’s appointment.
Akinola, who was accompanied by other three ASUU members, faulted Aborisade’s comment, describing it as inaccurate.
He maintained that the process that produced the vice chancellor was “not free, fair and transparent”.
According to him, the process was fraught with “at least two fundamental irregularities, which made it utterly unfair and decidedly skewed against all the contestants, except one person”.
Akinola accused the OAU ASUU chairman of issuing a statement on the VC’s appointment that was not authorised by the congress.
He described the statement as false and self-seeking.
Akionola alleged that the outgoing vice chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole and “his collaborators” deliberately planned the selection to include conditions which were not originally in the advertised criteria for the appointment to the office of VC.
He said: “This is because the selection and appointment process is at present subject of a litigation before the Federal High Court Osogbo, which had served all the necessary processes on the parties, particularly the university’s council, to hold on pending the determination of the matter on notice concerning complaints of improper process and partiality brought by SSANU and NASU of the university.
“But while the matter was slated for hearing on June 7, the university authority surreptitiously on June 6, organised a questionable interview in Abuja at a secret location and purported to announce a candidate in utter disregard of the due process of judicial intervention. It is curious to note that three of the four internal candidates purportedly invited for the interview could not attend.”
But Aborisade said Akinola has no right to discredit the position of ASUU on the matters.
According to him, whatever Akinola was saying on the matter should be discountenanced because “he is saying that to cause confusion as he never attended ASUU meeting more than once in the last two years after I defeated him in the ASUU chairmanship election he contested with me.”
On the position of ASUU at its meeting of June 6, he said: “By the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement, the Federal Government has granted autonomy to the university. In the said autonomy, the Governing Councils of the Federal Universities are the only bodies given the responsibility of appointing vice chancellors based on every university’s statutory requirements. ASUU will not at any time tolerate any attempt to subvert this hard-earned autonomy.
“The Governing Council of ObafemiAwolowo University advertised the position of vice chancellor in December 2015 with specific criteria spelt out in the advert for intending candidates.
“A five-man search team was set up in accordance with the laid down procedure. At the end of the application deadline, the Governing Council met between March 8 and 11, 2016, and a shortlisting exercise was conducted, as stipulated in the statute of the ObafemiAwolowo University.
“The process led to the emergence of six candidates. Congress was satisfied with the report and was consequently adopted. Congress observed that the current university autonomy does not factor a direct role of ASUU in the appointment of university vice chancellors. Going down memory lane, the previously conducted referenda seemed not to have had positive influence on the appointment of vice chancellors, but rather, had led to the polarisation of our membership.
“After exhaustive deliberations on the subject, congress resolved to have an interaction with the candidates (rather than a referendum) and a committee was set up by the congress to organise such.”
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