UNILORIN VC Race: IEDPU alleges plot to disqualify Ilorin indigenes
The Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union (IEDPU), yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, raised the alarm over alleged plot by those it described as "fifth columnists", to scuttle the chances of indigenes of Ilorin emerging the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
The union in a press conference by its National President, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi titled "University of Ilorin - The Return of the Fifth Columnist" held at its headquarters along Gerin-Alimi road, accused the enemies of the emirates of launching ceaseless attack on the personality of the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali in order to jeopardise the chances of the emergence of another Ilorin indigene to succeed the incumbent administrator.
The single term 5-year-tenure of Ambali will formally end on October 15, 2017 and the university has subsequently advertised vacancy for the position.
The IEDPU warned those allegedly behind the plot whom it described as Ilorinphobists not to take meekness of the union as weakness simply because Islam teaches and preaches tolerance.
It further warned that the sentiments against Ilorin indigenes and what Ilorin represent as regards the university should be stopped forthwith, warning that the hatred being exhibited can only drawback the entire system.
According to IEDPU, five vice chancellors had administered the university who were not indigenes of Ilorin but got hugely supported and wondered why the hostility to Ilorin indigenes whenever they are in-charge instead of reciprocity.
"Our action is not a ploy to shield Prof. Ambali but we cannot tolerate any person or group of people bent on rubbishing the feats attained by the university and Ambali in particular who happened to hail from the emirate," it added.
It said the people of Ilorin and the emirate had played significant roles before and after the establishment of the university by supporting the institution, noting that the vast amount of land donated by Ilorin made the university permanent site the biggest landmass possess by any university in Nigeria.
"At inception, pioneer staff of the university were imported as it were. Almost all academic and non academic staff including even cleaners were brought from states outside the then Kwara as if there were no one worthy enough within the state to be employed.
"...the department of Arabic and Islamic studies which would have been the department to reflect the cultural attachment of our people was changed to that of religion because of the sentiment of a negligible few.
"In 1997, Prof Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem was appointed the VC...to welcome him to the office, a 21 ft python sat majestically on his seat just as he was about to commence his administration. The snake, preserved for posterity, is still in a laboratory of the university.
"They were hostile against Professor Oba all through his tenure and at national assignment and tormented professor Is-haq Oloyede because of his perceived link with Ilorin community and their paranoid for Islam. Were they on sabbatical when Prof Amali was the VC?, IEDPU queried.
"The reason for all these attacks is crystal clear, bring down the outgoing VC from Ilorin anda another Ilorin VC will not emerge."
On the protracted ASUU crisis that had plagued the university, IEDPU noted that the issue which culminated in the emergence of two factions, should have been resolved before now and advised the National Executive Council of ASUU to organise a free, fair and credible election to bring peace and unfettered operation to the chapter.
Although it commended the union and its officers, IEDPU said it wondered the silence of the ASUU on the VC issue, adding that the situation of unionism in the university has continued to draw back the progressive moves of the institution. "Something urgent must be done", it added.
Recall that there were reports on some of professors in the race for the University of Ilorin Vice Chancellor post.
Listed is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, (Management Services), Prof. Adebayo Yusuf AbdulKareem, former Deputy Vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Bayo Lawal, Dean of Arts, Prof. Ahmad AbdulSalam, former Vice Chancellor of Al-Hikmah University, Prof. Sulieman Age AbdulKareem and one time Dean, Business and Social Sciences, Prof. Hassan Ajisafe Soliu.
Among the aspirants, three are from Ilorin while Prof Lawal and Prof Age Abdulkareem hail from Offa and Oro respectively.