OAU VC: Ooni of Ife cautions protesting subjects

Uba Group

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has cautioned indigenes and residents of the ancient town who are aggrieved by the process that led to the selection of substantive Vice-Chancellor for the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Adebayo Simeon Bamire, not to take laws into their hands.

Ogunwusi made this known in a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare and made available to the media on Wednesday. He assured workers and students of the institution of their safety as well as their property.

The monarch equally promised the protesters that their agitation would be given adequate and objective attention, saying protests are legitimate rights and ways to pass messages of dissatisfaction across to the relevant authorities but such protests must not be made to jeopardize peace and security in the society.

He said, “Protest is everybody’s right to make his or her unheard voice to be heard. This is always adopted by professional and academic stakeholders/trade unions; ASUU, NASU, NBA, NANS, religious bodies, political parties and even concerned individuals but it must be done peacefully.

“Over the years, the good people of Ife have been a superb host to the university even as they enroll their children and equally join qualified hands (Regardless of background) to work in the citadel of learning.

“The Ife community is proud to have partnered and still partnering the institution through the House of Oduduwa on viable programmes and projects capable of projecting Ile-Ife to the outside world as an ancient city ready for progress and development”.

“While Ooni Ogunwusi has rallied majors stakeholders to address the issue at hand, Kabiyesi sues for calm, calling on all law-abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses without fear.

“The good relationship between the town (Ile-Ife) and gown (OAU) remains as strong as ever, particularly to the benefit of the younger ones in and outside the university.

“OAU is Ife, Ife is OAU and we shall continue to cohabit in peace for progress.”

Meanwhile, the university management has commended the peaceful manner in which workers and students tolerated the protests.

A statement signed by the Registrar,
Mrs M. I. Omosule, said, “The university management is not unaware of the hardship occasioned by the unwarranted invasion of the University campus by Ile-Ife indigenes. The situation is constantly being monitored and everything possible will continue to be done to bring things under control.

“Management empathises with staff and students who have been injured or traumatized in this unfortunate state of affairs. Appropriate and relevant authorities, within and outside the University have been duly informed of the development.

“However, the management has noted the unfortunate and inimical roles of some individuals and wishes to remind everyone of the need to desist from acts that are capable of disrupting the peace of the University.

“We sincerely appreciate the patience and understanding of staff and students, as well as the maturity so far exhibited in the face of this unwarranted assault on the University community.

“Once again, the University Management appeals to all staff and students to remain calm, ignore any provocation, and go about their legitimate duties.”