OAU crisis: Uneasy calm as Senate meets on Thursday to pick Acting VC

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Members of the Senate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State will on Thursday meet to pick an acting vice chancellor for the institution as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Uba Group

President Buhari had given a directive on Monday to the OAU Senate to recommend a suitable person to be appointed as the acting VC of the school, pending the selection of a substantive VC.

The Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju, confirmed the Senate’s meeting to our correspondent on the telephone on Wednesday.

According to the PRO, the members of the Senate needed to be informed 72 hours ahead of the meeting.
He stressed that the Senate comprising the institution’s serving professors had been duly notified, adding that the university community was eager to know the would-be acting VC as arrangements for the meeting had already been concluded.

Olanrewaju said, “There is uneasy calm on campus because the Senate will meet on Thursday, 21st July, 2016. But the campus is peaceful like graveyard. The law of the university says that the Senate must be given 72-hour notice before the meeting.

“The president gave the directive on Monday and the 72-hour notice will lapse on Thursday for adequate convergence of the meeting. All professors will meet and pick one of them with high profile and integrity as an acting VC.

“After the meeting, the name and profile of the man chosen will be forwarded to the minister of education for onward transfer to President Buhari for approval and consequent announcement to the public.”

A copy of the notice of the special meeting of the Senate obtained by our correspondent reads, “This is to give Notice of a Special Meeting of Senate scheduled as follows: Date: Thursday, 21st July 2016. Venue: Conference Hall, Conference Centre and Guest Houses. Time: 10.00 am.

“Agendum1. “To recommend a qualified member of Senate to the Honorable Minister of Education for appointment as Acting Vice-Chancellor” as directed by the Visitor to the University.

“Kindly note that this meeting has been called and will be chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. O. A. Ajayi, pursuant to the following provisions of the Standing Orders of Senate: “1b. The Senate shall also meet to transact urgent business at such other times as the Vice-Chancellor, or in his absence, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall require.”and“4(2) In the absence of the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall preside at meetings of Senate.”

Speaking further on whether the Senate Building taken over by protesting workers of the institution have been re-opened, the PRO disclosed that the Administrative Block was still being shut by the workers.
He said no one had been allowed to have access to it since the exit of the immediate past VC, Prof. Bamitale Omole.

“The situation is dicey, workers insisted that they will not open until the acting VC is announced. The workers said they would want to open the Senate Building for the new acting VC as a mark of honour.

“Although the workers have been dancing and jubilating, despite the fact that they have not been paid their salaries, they still lay siege on the campus, preventing officers from gaining entrance,” Olanrewaju added.