Indigenes of Ifeland have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow a competent son of the soil is appointed as the next substantive Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University located in the town.
The five years non-renewable tenure of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede expired this year’s May, hence, the community urged the University Senate, Governing Council and other stakeholders to consider competent indigenes for the office.
Addressing a press conference at Oba Okunade Sijuade Hall, Enuwa, Ile-Ife on Thursday under the aegis of Ifeland Elders and Youth Movement, Comrade Agboguleri Oluwaseun said the community deserved to have a competent indigene as Vice-Chancellor after 61 years of establishment.
He said Ifeland has qualified and competent professors, who have been ignored in the past, appealing that now is the time to give one of the numerous competent dons opportunity to head the citadel of learning.
“There is no any Ife Indigene among the past 11 substantive Vice-Chancellors of the school. Professor Anthony Elujoba, the only Professor from Ife land acted as Vice-Chancellor only to stabilize the campus when it was in turmoil.
“We wish to appeal to decision-makers and influencers, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, the school Council, Senate and other stakeholders, on our long-awaited supplications to consider a qualified professor of Ife extraction to occupy the exalted post of the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University. This call is due to not only the yearning of the Elders in Ife Land but also as the product of numerous discussions and agitations at every gathering of Ife Youth both at home and in the diaspora.
“Let me quickly point out that we have used “professor of Ife extraction advisedly” as Ife land includes Origbo, Ile-Ife, Modakeke, Ifetedo and even Oke-Igbo and so there could be a plethora of professors from this area vying for the position of Vice-Chancellor in OAU.
“The fact that the post of the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University has always eluded the community despite its numerous and qualified sons at the citadel of learning has always been a source of concern for all and sundry, but we take solace in the fact that when the time is ripe, the bugle will sound.
“We are however convinced that no time is better for Ife to rightly enjoy the benevolence of the University Community as the host Community than NOW! Our request is not an ordinary appeal to pity, but a quest that Ife Land should also be treated with dignity and respect which are accorded other host communities and for a replicate of what is obtainable in other sister institutions in the country.
“It is not too much if we demand that our case in Ife Land should not be different. Ife in his magnanimity has remained peaceful and accommodating, these we will continue and hope that our gesture is reciprocated.
“We are not unaware of quality and competence, we are stoutly convinced that we have professors of meritocracy who we can beat our chest on and whose records are clean and untainted for the role. University of this standard cannot compromise standard in terms of administration and operations. Therefore, selections for the office must be on merit and equally important is fairness to the host community.
“We believe strongly that with our prayer answered, the relationship between the two communities will be strengthened while the efforts of the “Town and Gown” committee will further be appreciated”, he said.