Some lecturers in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, have said the dissolution of the Governing Council of the institution by the Federal Government does not vitiate the appointment of Prof. Ayobami Salami as the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
But the OAU chapters of the Senior Staff Association of Universities and the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions said on Saturday that workers in the university were expecting an acting vice chancellor to be announced by the government and not Salami.
Salami, who was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), was appointed the Vice Chancellor by the governing council and he was supposed to have resumed since June 24, following the expiration of the tenure of Prof. Bamitale Omole, but the non-stop protests embarked upon by workers in the university prevented him from resuming.
The lecturers, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, said the dissolution of the governing council had nothing to do with Salami’s appointment because that had been done and the new VC had since resumed.
One of the professors said, “The Federal Government has implicitly validated Prof Ayo Salami’s appointment by issuing him a letter through the Federal Character Commission which is under the Presidency. He has also received handover notes and has been on office for one week.
“Only the courts can nullify Salami’s appointment. Some are canvassing the option of an acting vice chancellor but this is too late given the earlier nod given to Prof. Salami by government.”
However, the Chairman of NASU in OAU, Mr. Wole Odewumi, alleged that the laid-down procedures in appointing vice chancellors were not followed in Salami’s appointment.
Although, our correspondent could not speak with the Chairman of SSANU because his telephone line was switched off, the NASU chairman said the two unions (SSANU and NASU) were united in their position.
Odewumi said, “It is unfortunate that some lecturers can be saying this (that Salami remains the VC). But you need to ask them: why did the Federal Government dissolve the governing council? The council was dissolved because they manipulated the process of selecting a new vice chancellor.
“Based on this, the selection process was suspended and we are expecting an acting VC, who we will work with and not Prof. Salami. Salami was interviewed and appointed in Abuja and I think he should go and resume in Abuja if he wants to be VC and not here in Obafemi Awolowo University.”
SSANU and NASU had accused the dissolved governing council of the institution of not following the laid down procedures in appointing a vice chancellor.
The unions took the matter to court but Salami was announced VC despite this.