Picture credit: The Internet.
By Kay Bello
Good day everyone, I hope I am not late to this academic party. For quite some time, the University of Ibadan‘s Vice Chancellor selection process has been greeted with controversies, petition and most actors may have decided to keep mum, remain neutral for reasons best known to them or for the fear of the unknown.
I must confess, I have read the petition by Prof. Dasylva on the Vice Chancellor selection process that has been greeted with anomalies. Of course, anomalies had been the order of the day since 2015 or prior to 2015 in the University of Ibadan. What baffles me a lot is how and why it is at this time the likes of Prof. Dasylva are just crying out.
By 2013, I was running from pillar to post over my Law School admission which is to materialize. I was adjudged a stubborn fellow, but this is not the aspect I will point out today. Let us go on, please.
HOW I MET PROF. DASYLVA, FACULTY OF ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
IN 2008, protest over hike in school fees had broken out , and students, the likes of Toba Bankole, Timilehin Olagunju ( Colossus), Amuda Mosigbodi had taken the bull by the horn. One of the events then was my arrest , detention and subsequent suspension from the University of Ibadan which culminated into my Law School admission denial.
The incumbent Director, Public Communications, University of Ibadan, Mr. Tunji Oladejo took me to Prof. Dasylva for mentoring and guidance then so that I would not be victimized further by the University of Ibadan’s authorities because then there was imminent Students’ Disciplinary Committee’s case against me and the journalists had reported my detention by the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bamiro Olufemi, though the latter denied ever authorizing my detention. Nonetheless, the Students’ Disciplinary Committee’s case began. One day at the Faculty of Arts Quadrangle, I approached Prof. Dasylva to reintroduce myself as the fellow Mr. Tunji Oladejo asked him to mentor and help guide.
Surprisingly and dishearteningly, Prof. Dasylva acted as if he never met me. It was shocking as I walked away downcast. I carried my cross from one Panel to the other over hike in school fees. I also wrote the lecturers at the Faculty of Arts, dropped some letters in their pidgeon holes but till today, none of them replied. Please let us fast forward to 2020, today.
STUDENTS’ STRUGGLE AND PROF. DASYLVA
Between 2008, and 2020 (12 years interval), students had had to struggle for one thing or the other. For examples:
1. Free Mote struggle against Prof. Olayinka Idowu.
2. Free Ojo Aderemi struggle, still ongoing.
Plus Ojo Aderemi is from same Faculty with Prof. Dasylva.
3. The suspension of Kunle Adebajo by the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan. Kunle wrote in The Guardian that there were poor facilities at Mellanby Hall, University of Ibadan.
4. Suspension of the students who could not pay up house rent, outside the University of Ibadan.
5. Suspension of Wonne Afronelly and Balkis of the Fisheries Department University of Ibadan due to poor facilities at the Fish farm during Prof. Adewole Isaac’s administration.
6. No light, no water protest by the students of the University of Ibadan in 2011, and the Panel set up by the Vive Chancellor, University of Ibadan , Prof. Adewole Isaac to look into it. The Panel sat at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan and it was chaired by Prof. Remi Raji who today may be complaining about the selection process of the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan.
7. The subsequent struggle by Kay Bello to graduate from the University of Ibadan, the release of his certificate, inclusion of his name in the convocation list and his expulsion from the Nigerian Law School in 2017 due to his suspension at the University of Ibadan when Prof. Dasylva was to be a mentor or guardian to him.
8. Present struggles by the Unions in the University of Ibadan and beyond.
Readers, I cannot pinpoint from the above instances I can recollect where Prof. Dasylva ever came out to write or speak in support of the students or the Unions , but I was also told he has worked well for the development of our institution. My ears have also heard that Prof. Dasylva could be anti-Union. For now, I only want to enumerate the above but let us talk about something that could be said to be logical: NEMO JUDEX IN CAUSA SUA. This is a latin maxim meaning you cannot be a Judge in your own case. This statement has its firm root in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended: section 36 on Fair Hearing or/and due process.
PROF. DASYLVA’S PETITION, PROF. OLAYINKA AND FAIR HEARING
It was stated and reported that Prof Dasylva has petitioned over the University Of Ibadan’s Vice Chancellor selection process but as at this time it has been stated the same petition is being or has been handled by those indicted or affected by the petition: the Secretary to the Governing Council, University of Ibadan who is also the Registrar, University of Ibadan University of Ibadan and Prof. Olayinka Idowu, the Vice Chancellor and Senate Chairman , University of Ibadan.
It is important and sacrosanct for the duo to excuse themselves from the petition, to avoid unfair hearing or dealing. I am particularly not surprised about this because in the University of Ibadan and elsewhere in Nigeria this has been the order of the day. When the likes of Prof. Dasylva, Prof. Ademola Aremu , Prof. Segun Ajiboye of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) were to speak against the anomalies they unfortunately became accessories to the anomalies that fester their nests today. Now, it seems the cane used to beat the First wife, that was kept in the roof, has been used or will be used to beat the second wife mercilessly.
PROF. ADEBOWALE’S SILENCE AMID SUPPOSED ANOMALIES
It is no longer news for those following the Vice Chancellor’s selection process that the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Olayinka Idowu may have pitched his tent towards Prof. Adebowale , his Deputy, who stands as a candidate in the ongoing Vice Chancellor selection process. What could be worrisome is that from the background of being a devout Christian and someone tilting towards sound moral character, Prof. Adebowale could be silent in the midst of these supposed anomalies, left , right and centre. Prof. Adebowale may be a staunch member of a known denomination which would value pious existence or uprightness. However, I have not heard if it would be as a rumour that Prof. Adebowale, Prof. Olayinka’s Vice has condemned the process leading to his emergence as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan. Is there anything Prof. Olayinka and his cohorts are trying to hide from us, even after leaving the office?
AN ADDENDUM: PETITION OVER THE VICE CHANCELLOR SELECTION PROCESS IN 2015
By 2015, Mustapha Olawuni and myself with a couple of others vehemently raised eyebrows about the process leading to the final selection of Prof. Olayinka Idowu as the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan. We could only gather some noise around the petition we submitted, and fellow Nigerians moved on. Except for a renewed resilience of some Nigerians on the social media and the recent protest to end police brutality in Nigeria, Nigerians normally would only cry for few days over anomalies .
VICE CHANCELLOR SELECTION PROCESS AND THE STUDENTS
It is, however, sad that the Students’ Union or students who would be affected most either directly or indirectly by these machinations have shown little or no interest in this politicking and self-centered brouhaha.
THE PETITION BY PROF. DASYLVA – WAY FORWARD
IN my own opinion, the best way to go is to allow a neutral body or umpire or committee to look into the petition by those aggrieved by the University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor selection process. I am sure the Governing Council of the University would have an independent investigation committee on such petitions. Whether the petition emanated from a particular camp or not, what is important is to look into the merit or demerit of the petition(s) else it would be part of what may result into grudges when any of the Vice Chancellor candidates emerges. Anyway, at this time one of the permutations is who becomes what – Director of this Centre or Department or the other in the University of Ibadan which might mean one way or the other the petitioner(s) may be appeased with appointment(s) into strategic positions in the University of Ibadan.
A REMINDER TO PROF. OLAYINKA IDOWU
Sir, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, this is a humble reminder that I have not been convoked since 2013 due to deliberate withholding of my convocation and certificate by the authorities of the University of Ibadan started by Prof. Adewole Isaac. A letter had been written on this and the inclusion of my name in the Convocation List, and it is my hope the needful would be done, Sir. With the letter, I attached my statement of result, academic transcript, amongst others.
Prof. Dasylva today has petitioned over what he tagged as anomalies in the Vice Chancellor selection process, as I have always done. I may say he is an ‘activist’ or petitioner too for now, but to what extent or for what reason? Selah!