Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has appealed to citizens of Ile-Ife who are protesting the choice of the new Vice-Chancellor for the Obafemi Awolowo University to give peace a chance and stop the protest forthwith.
Some Ife indigenes invaded the varsity’s campus with charms and other fetish objects on Monday protesting the announcement of Prof. Adebayo Bamire as the 12th substantive Vice-Chancellor of OAU.
The protesters argued that an Ife indigene should have been appointed.
The closed the institution’s gates to prevent staff, students, and other stakeholders from either going into or leaving the University.
The protesters, who initially blocked the main gate of the University on the first day and threatened staff and students to stay away from campus, allegedly became violent the second day as they beat up workers, particularly the staff of the Security Unit, and vandalised their office at the Main Gate.
In a statement by Governor Oyetola’s Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Tuesday evening, he noted that Ivory Towers anywhere in the world are sacred institutions and everything must be done to accord them that dignity.
He noted that though the state has no role in the choice of who becomes the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, being a Federal institution, he has responsibility for the safety and security of the institution and its workers as the host Governor.
To this end, he urged all protesting citizens to exercise restraint and allow peace to reign.
He further said : “It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of concern that I call on the good people of Ile-Ife, especially those protesting over the choice of a new Vice Chancellor for Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, to stop further protest and give peace a chance.
“By their nature and functionality, universities are rules- and convention-based conservative institutions premised on academic and governance autonomy.
“If we have any reason to believe that these rules are circumvented, there are laid-down procedures to remedy such situations rather than resorting to self-help. We are known for peace in Osun. We must therefore not do anything to tarnish that enviable reputation,” Oyetola added.
Last Thursday, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Owelle Oscar Idoko, announced Professor of Agricultural Economics, Prof Banire, as its substantive new Vice-Chancellor.