It is just about 22 days to the end of Prof Bamitale Omole's tenure as the Vice-Chancellor of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, yet the school's Governing Council is yet to declare the successor of the Ekiti-born Professor, a ritual that is traditionally done in the month of may every five years. The current VC was announced on the 23rd of May, 2011, as a successor of Prof Faborode.
The University Governing Council is yet to decide the school's next vice-chancellor due to a court injunction obtained by the Ademola Oketunde of SSANU and Wole Odewumi of NASU to halt the process due to the gross misconduct attributed to the process as claimed by the unions. It should be recalled that towards the conclusion of the screening of the Eleven candidates who had applied to take over from the current VC of the university, Prof. Bamitale Omole, whose five-year single term tenure will end June 23, 2016. The Chairman of the OAU chapter, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Mr. Wole Odewumi, stated in a chat with Punch Newspaper correspondent that workers would resist any attempt by the school authorities to impose a candidate on them. Days later, members of the school’s chapters of NASU and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University laid siege to the VC’s Lodge to disrupt the final screening of the final candidates for the position.
The VC who came in to office on the 24th of June 2011 renewed the hope of students and staff for a better leadership. However students and staff remain divided on the performance of the VC, as while some believes he has performed averagely well, some are of the opinion that he failed the University community.
The chairman of NASU had claimed earlier, that the selection body, has failed to follow the law guiding the appointment of a new vice chancellor contained in OAU Statue 6, Sections 3(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) as amended by Statue 22, the Miscellaneous Decree 11 of 1992. But the university senate through the University's PRO, Mr Olanrewaju, has frankly denied such claims, he said: “The committee has been constituted. The senate sat and elected members to represent them. I don’t think other processes are not being followed. The unions that claimed that the processes are not being followed are members of this community. We have four unions here and only two are protesting. We are a family here and I believe that we ought to come to a roundtable to resolve our issues, if in fact there are issues, instead of fsaying that processes are not followed.” in a chat with news men.
It is still unclear whether the court injunction would be vacated anytime soon, or if all the processes that has been undertaken will be nullified and the selection process would start again. It is also worthy to note that if a VC is not appointed by the time of the current VC's exit, an interim VC would be appointed by the Governing Council on the recommendation of the Senate.
Meanwhile, our correspondents also gathered that protests by members of NASU disrupted the book launch the the current Vice Chancellor, Prof 'Tale Omole, yesterday, 2nd June 2016, which eventually led to the postponement of the book launch.