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UI VC Race: Reasons Why Olayinka Is Desperate And Why Adebowale Will Fail | Bala Ayodele

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Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka is the outgoing Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Ibadan (UI). He became the 12th VC of UI on 1 December 2015 amidst controversies and accusation of vote fixing. Since 2016, there has not been a year the University of Ibadan did not witness one kind of crisis or another. Thus, it is apt to say that Olayinka’s tenure started in crisis, flourished in crisis and now about to end in full blown crisis, caused by his desperation to put his stooge in the position he is about to leave, come 30 November 2020.

The Gaskya Group (TGG) provided the background to the crisis surrounding the selection of a new Vice Chancellor for UI. In our first publication, we showed how the University Administration led by Professor. Idowu Olayinka was plotting to bring about the election of Professors Ayoola and Olapegba as the two Senate Representatives on the Joint Council/Senate Selection Board so as to ensure the selection of Adebowale, the current Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) as the new VC. In another publication, we revealed how Olayinka hosted the Adebowale campaign team in his official residence and used the facility of the university to provide food and drinks for his foot soldiers and attack dogs.

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This time, we will reveal the grand plan by the Olayinka-Adebowale caucus, including three former leaders of ASUU (Professors Aboidun Onilude, Deji Omole and Peter Olapegba) working with other characters like Prof. Abiodun Ayodele of Faculty of Science and Prof. Francis Offor of the Faculty of Arts as errand boys. The error or overzealous act of Ayodele and Offor that first brought the evil plan of the group to the open. In the days before the controversial election of the two representatives to the Joint Council/Senate Selection Board, messages were shared by both Offor and Ayodele to show that they were working for Adebowale, and also implicating Professors Ayoola and Olapegba as members of their team.

The voting exercise that took place on 21 Sept 2020 turned out to be a sham. It was challenged with petitions by two of the contestants, Professors Ademola Dasylva and Adesoji Fasanmade. The petitions that followed the election were addressed to the Chairman of the Governing Council and other internal and external members of the Council. Till date, no statement or formal directive has been given by the University Council on the subject of the petition.

In order to cover up the electoral fraud, the Vice Chancellor claimed that he approached the Chairman of UI Governing Council and suggested that he allow the Senate to handle the matter. This action by Olayinka contradicted his earlier position on the matter. For instance, in an interview he granted to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on 1 October 2020, he was quoted as saying that “Since this matter has already been laid before the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, it is only decent that I do not comment any further at this point on the merit or otherwise of the grievances of the two colleagues who are members of the University Senate.” Less than 48 hours, he released a note stating that he had received approval from the Chairman of Council to deal with the matter at a special meeting of the University Senate. What a contradiction!

The public is aware that another petition had been sent to the Chairman of Council by Professor Dasylva appealing to him to restrain the Vice Chancellor from treating the matter because he lacked the jurisdiction and locus standito do so, considering that the original petition was addressed to Council, not Senate, in addition to the fact that the Vice Chancellor and Senate are parties to the case.

With no regard for decency and due process, the Vice Chancellor still went ahead with his proposed Senate meeting on Thursday, 8 October 2020.  At the end of the so-called specially convened Senate meeting in which Olayinka behaved like a dictator, the expected happened. The caption of the report after the meeting reads: ‘University of Ibadan Senate takes major step to resolving crises.’ This caption is indeed misleading, because the Senate is a party to the case and should not be a judge in its own case. What happened on Thursday 08 October 2020 was at best a meeting of the Senate to articulate its own side of the story or its defense to the allegations levelled against it, not a move to resolve the crisis in which the Senate as a body and its individual members are parties. Again, the official news released by the Registry stated that ‘the meeting was frank, honest, transparent and in an atmosphere of civility’, but it left out the crucial information that the meeting was held ‘under police watch’. That was a desecration of the independence and integrity of Senate. It was a historic event which can only happen in the time of a dictator with little emotional intelligence. The so-called official news released by the Registry also stated that ‘the resolutions of the meeting have been forwarded to Council for consideration’. Yet, it was clear that the petitions were not addressed to the Senate in the first place. Professors Ademola Dasylva and Adesoji Fasanmade knew to whom their petitions were directed. The so-called resolutions were therefore a waste of time and exercise in futility.

All these are pointers to Olayinka’s desperation in his bid to install his stooge in the person of Adebowale who is his current Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration.

So why is Abel Idowu Olayinka so desperate?

  1. Olayinka is desperate because he does not want a fair contest. No VC like my VC is desperate because he has so many skeletons to cover up in his cupboard.
  2. Olayinka, why is your Bursary Department empty of funds, including monies transferred from DLC, PG College and the Grants Section of the Bursary?
  3. It is also important to ask what happened to the sum of N25m donation given by Governor Seyi Makinde direct to the Vice Chancellor and his Bursar. Olayinka is desperate to have his own stooge in power in order to cover up the alleged financial recklessness that everybody is afraid to talk about. It is official  that UI is broke! Olayinka is leaving the University Treasury worse and emptier than he met it. Many arrears of staff are pending. Our Unions (ASUU and SSANU especially) are not letting the theft of promotion arrears go without question. We wait to see how this will end.
  4. Under Olayinka’s administration, social services have collapsed and become terrible. For instance, water and electricity services have become more unstable. No family in the University campus can boast of adequate water supply, except very few professors who have been provided with boreholes in their residences. The gift and use of boreholes have become very popular now as a way of bribing perceived individuals. All these constitute why Olayinka is desperate to install Adebowale as the new VC so as to cover up his tracks and protect himself from probe after leaving office, unbeknownst to him that EFCC and ICPC are taking technical note and are ready to track him down no matter wherever he runs to.

Olayinka began his campaign for Adebowale on both religious and tribal grounds. He took Adebowale (whose name used to be Esuruoso) to some highly placed chiefs and businessmen in the city and introduced him as his candidate. Adebowale who claimed to be a Pastor of a renowned church denomination in Nigeria has a history of exploitation, harassment and greed. Only Jesus knows those who serve Him.

Matters Arising. In March 2019, Olayinka/Adebowale claimed to have spent over N80m to repair damages purportedly caused by a natural disaster; in May 2020, there was also a claim that over M12m was spent to repair another set of damages reportedly caused by another natural disaster.

Thus, it is without doubt that Olayinka’s tenure has been marked by all kinds of crisis, industrial action, and natural disasters. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, ‘if there is an idiot in power, it means those who elected him are well represented’. An idiot is about to leave power; UI cannot afford another idiot to occupy the seat.

TGG stands for Truth. Long Live the University of Ibadan

Comrade Bala Ayodele

Coordinator, TGG

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