By Michael Ofulue, Osogbo
The Ife Development Board has demanded for a thorough investigation into the just concluded selection of the new Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University OAU.
It will be recalled that protest greeted the appointment of professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire as the new Vice-Chancellor of the institution.
A statement by the President of the Board, Mr Lawrence Awowoyin which was made available to the media, urged all parties in the matter to allow peace to reign while investigation is ongoing.
According to the statement, one of the professors who is an indigene of Ife, Professor, Adedoyin. has forwarded a petition to President Muhammed Buhari and Minister of Education for investigation
They said the 61 years old University has conducted several selections of its Vice Chancellors who have always emerged on the basis of criteria defined by its governing authorities, adding that on all the occasions, the Ife community has never interfered nor sought to manipulate the internal affairs of the institution in favour of anyone, including its sons and daughters.
“We wish to express here our disappointment and feeling of angst that after more than sixty years of its existence, the Obafemi Awolowo University has only counted our community worthy of one short-lived, acting vice chancellorship
“Notwithstanding the seeming discrimination against us, but because of our faith in the justness and reasonableness of our demand, we remain unshaken in the belief that our legitimate request for fair treatment as meted out to the aforementioned favoured communities shall soon be positively rewarded by the appropriate authorities.
“Any curious observer of the unfolding scenario and the untoward aftermath of the recent selection process in OAU, Ife must wonder why there is such an apparent tug of war between the gown and town.
“Why, for instance, is the Ife community raising allegations of deliberate manipulation of the process to effectively discriminate against candidates of Ife origin? Why is the university on its part, claiming that the Ife community is raising dust only because it simply wants to impose an indigene as Vice Chancellor without following due processes?
“On behalf of the Ife community, we wish to state categorically here that the crux of the matter is a pending land dispute between the community and the university since the emergence of the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Professor Tope Ogunbodede.
The Ife community, relying on the decades of rapport between both parties had drawn the attention of the university to the existence of some controversial parcels of land over which the university was laying claims.
On the basis of land title documents in the custody of our community, we had advised the university that their purported claims were invalid. We therefore sought for dialogue with the university authorities, asking them to produce gazetted documentary evidence in their possession so that both parties could easily reconcile their conflicting claims.
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