By Demola Akinyemi
For the Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin, (UNILORIN), Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali,these are not the best of times.
The vet doctor,who inherited the record of uninterrupted academic calender of over ten years on which the university prides itself, from his predecessor and current Executive Secretary of JAMB ,Professor Isha’q Oloyede,the return of the sacked 49 lecturers into the university had made his tenure, which will end in fAugust, “rough”,so to say.
More than ever before,the angry national leadership of ASUU had displayed high intensity of merging the local chapter of its union with the national body by making spirited attem pts to hold meetings with the members in the university but which were consistently rebuffed by the university management.
The national body of ASUU has been particularly angry that UNILORIN did not participate in several strikes that were called by the body for well over a decade, but has benefited from the gains like others who participated while the university turns around its disobedience to its pride of continuous academic calender.
The need to align the local ASUU has therefore been a major agenda of successive national executives of the union as various strategies are consistently deployed to achieve this goal.
In view of this,there are two local chapters of ASUU in UNILORIN which have been battling to out do one another in a battle of supremacy,and it couldn’t have gained propensity at a time than now when the jostle for the successor of Ambali has taken the front burner. Like a bolt from the blues, reports, last week, published, for three days, alleged fraud and maladministration putting the outgoing administration and that of Oloyede in focus.
The reports,y believed to be sponsored by a section of aggrieved national leadership of ASUU, have now put the Better by Far university on edge. The management has been battling to refute the allegations in the reports while stakeholders in the university have continued to discuss the matter with a view to take a position on the successor of the outgoing vice chancellor.
The Vice Chancellor, while reacting to the reports, against his administration and that of his predecessor, said the latest criticisms of his regime were aimed at ushering him out of the seat with ignominy,describing the allegations as baseless,unfounded and blatant lies.
Ambali accused a faction of ASUU in the university of being the brain behind his ordeal.
“So I won’t be surprised as I have been told that it is the tradition of some people, whenever the tenure a vice chancellor is coming to an end they embark on smear campaigns against him,” he told reporters.
“The campaigns are aimed at ushering me out with ignominy instead of saying ‘’ thank you’ for the service I rendered.”
Ambali added that the bashing were calculated attempts to smear the reputation the university had garnered over the years. He continued, “To me the rising tempo of attacks on my administration is a wrong approach to succeed in life. If you want the seat of the vice chancellor, there are laid down procedures.. You don’t destroy somebody in order to occupy his place. You can as well be a fellow good passenger in the bus, so that the bus can get to its destination safely and all of you can disembark and go home. But by destroying the same vehicle you want to use to get to your own destination as well, nobody will get there.
“And now the latest option is to put our reputation at stake by defaming the famous University of Ilorin and demystifying all the reputation we have garnered over the years. All the allegations that are going round are calculated at undermining all the 17 years of uninterrupted academic calendar the university has earned. That has also undermined all the good and hard working staff of the university. They are all blatant lies” .
The VC explained that the salaries Oloyede was still drawing from the university were his legitimate right,as, during his tenure as the deputy vice chancellor and the vice chancellor, he never went on leave because of his quest to serve the university meritoriously.
“It will be grossly unfair,if we deny him his rights,we won’t do that”, he quipped.