A professor of agriculture and former deputy vice-chancellor in charge of academics at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Adebayo Bamire, has been announced as the institution’s 12th substantive vice-chancellor-elect.
Mr Bamire was said to have ranked first ahead of a professor of Art and former deputy vice-chancellor at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Razaq Kalilu, and Kayode Ijadunola, a professor of public health and community medicine and former provost of the OAU’s college of health sciences, who ranked second and third respectively.
Meanwhile, a handful of protesters on Thursday afternoon blocked the university’s main gate shortly after the announcement, saying an indigene of the host community- Ile-Ife, should have been appointed.
As earlier hinted by PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday afternoon, the announcement was made by the university’s governing council led by a business mogul and founder of Superior Motors, Oscar Udoji.
The announcement ended a selection process which had kicked off in December, and which saw a total of 20 applicants taking part in the process.
In a statement issued by the university and signed by Mr Udoji, the VC-elect will assume office on June 7, when the tenure of the incumbent, Eyitope Ogunbodede, is expected to end.
Mr Udoji’s statement read in part: “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 Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire, a 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.
“The decision of the Council shall be communicated to the Visitor to the University, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari through the Hon. Minister of Education.”
According to sources, some individuals, who are said to be indigenes of Ile-Ife, had assembled at the university’s main gate on Thursday afternoon, accusing the governing council of deliberately “scheming out an indigene from being appointed.”
An applicant, Rufus Adedoyin, a professor of Physiotherapy, had been backed by a group of elders and youth of Ile-Ife community under the umbrella of “Town and Gown.”
They cited examples of the Universities of Ilorin, Jos and lately, Ibadan, who have been administered at different times by indigenes of their host communities.
The protesters have, however, threatened to shut down the university completely on Friday, saying there shall be no peace until the decision is reversed.
In a short video obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the protesters also threatened to “go traditional and fetish in fighting their battle.”
“So we are telling you that tomorrow, from Ipetu, Modakeke, Ifetedo, Origbo, and anywhere in Ife land, there shall be no movement. We will come with masqurades, demons and sacrifices,” an unidentified youth who addressed a crowd of protesters, said.
The university’s public relations officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, however, neither picked his call nor replied to a message sent to his phone requesting the university’s reaction to the protest.
Who is Bamire?
Born on January 18, 1959, Mr Bamire hails from Oyan in Odo-Otin Local Government Area of Osun State.
He was said to have attended St. Clares’ Nursery and Primary School, Osogbo, for his primary school education and had his secondary education at St. Charles’ Grammar School, also in Osogbo.
He studied Agricultural Economics at the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) and bagged his Bachelor of Agriculture in 1985; M.Phil., in 1992, and Ph.D. in 1999.
Mr Bamire’s PhD thesis was said to have won the “National Universities Postgraduate Thesis Award” in 2001.
During the tenure of the university’s 10th vice-chancellor, Bamitale Omole, Mr Bamire had reportedly won the deanship election of the faculty of agriculture by a lone vote.
As the dean, Mr Bamire reportedly had a frosty relationship with the then vice-chancellor, Mr Omole, who was eventually chased out of the campus one month to the end of his tenure in 2016 by protesting workers over allegations of corruption and compromised selection processes of his successor at the time.
The crisis, which led to the balkanisation of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the campus, eventually led to the appointment of an acting vice-chancellor- Anthony Elujoba.
However, since the appointment of the outgoing vice-chancellor, Ogunbodede, Mr Omole, a professor of History and International Relations, has had it “tough” on the campus.
He reportedly voluntarily retired earlier this year at the age of 68, instead of waiting to attain the 70-year-retirement age permitted by the law governing the university system in Nigeria.
This newspaper had earlier reported how the selection process of a new vice-chancellor had culminated into the interview of 16 shortlisted candidates which started on Monday, March 14 and ended on Wednesday, 16.
The process has been described by many members of the university community as fair, balanced and just, saying the fairness had made it less rancorous unlike what was experienced in 2016.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To place an advert here . Call Willie - +2348098788999