Though the Governing Council of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, had concluded plans to announce a new Vice-Chancellor today (Saturday), workers unions in the school on Friday said they had secured a Federal High Court injunction that would stop the planned announcement.
The Chairman of the OAU chapter, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, Chairman, Mr. Wole Odewumi, said workers would resist any attempt by the school authorities to impose a candidate on them.
A member of the selection board, saddled with the responsibility of appointing a new VC, had disclosed to one of our correspondents on Thursday that it was set to announce the successful candidate on Saturday.
Eleven candidates had applied to replace the current VC of the university, Prof. Bamitale Omole, whose five-year single term tenure will end June 23, 2016.
However, members of the school’s chapters of NASU and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University laid siege to the VC’s Lodge on Thursday night, disrupting the final screening of the final candidates for the position.
The NASU chairman, when contacted, told Saturday PUNCH that the two unions stormed the lodge to prevent the “kangaroo screening from holding.”
Odewole said, “We went to the VC’s lodge and ensured that the kangaroo screening did not hold. They had the intention of announcing a new VC today (Saturday), but it cannot happen again.
“I was called by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi, and he said we should hold on and we respected his words. Aside from that, we got an injunction from the Federal High Court, Ibadan and served them today (Friday).
“They cannot do anything now with the court injunction. We are ready to resist any attempt to foist any candidate on us as the VC without following the law.”
The two unions had repeatedly complained that the governing council, led by Prof. Rowland Ndoma-Egba, did not follow the laws guiding the selection process.
The Chairman of OAU chapter of SSANU, Mr. Ademola Oketunde, and Odewumi had written a letter of protest to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to dissolve the governing council because of the alleged manipulation in the selection process.
One of our correspondents gathered on Friday that leaders and members of the two unions were hinted that the six candidates shortlisted for the final screening were invited to appear for the final interview scheduled for around midnight.
The venue of the screening was, however, shifted to the VC’s lodge, apparently to prevent the two unions from disrupting it.