Professor Elujoba emerges as new OAU Vice Chancellor

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

Professor Anthony Elujoba has been appointed as Acting Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University OAU.

He defeated Professor Adebayo Lamikanra. Both are from Pharmacy Faculty.

The university Senate met on Thursday to pick the Acting Vice Chancellor as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, asking it to recommend a suitable person to be appointed as the Acting VC of pending the selection of the substantive VC.

Over two hundred serving professors that constitute the Senate participated in the selection.

A release by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju confirm this.

“In compliance with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari and in a spirited effort at redeeming the image of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the Senate of the University has overwhelmingly elected Professor Anthony Adebolu Elujoba as the acting Vice Chancellor of the University.

“After more than two hours of heated debate, presided over by the outgoing Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Omolayo Ajayi, the over two hundred Professors who came for the meeting eventually elected Professor Anthony Elujoba with 201 votes over his compatriot, Professor Adebayo Lamikanra, who polled less than 10 votes.”

Palpable tension had pervaded the entire campus over the appointment of the Vice Chancellor, as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Administration, Professor Omolayo Ajayi was allegedly warming up to step in, being the next in command, but the workers Unions warned of dire consequences.

OAU Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju had on Wednesday said the university community was eager to know the would-be acting VC, confirming the palpable calm.

“There has been uneasy calm on campus because of the planned Senate meeting on Thursday, 21st July, 2016. The campus is as peaceful like a graveyard. The law of the university says that the Senate must be given 72 hours notice of meeting.

“The president gave the directive on Monday and the 72 hours 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 a 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,” he said .

Administrative block had remained shut by the workers and no one had been allowed to access it since the exit of the immediate past VC  Professor Bamitale Omole.

“The situation is dicey, workers have have vowed not to resume until an Acting VC is announced.  The workers said they would only open the Senate Building for the new acting VC that would be appointed on Thursday as a mark of honour,” Abiodun explained.

The university spokesman noted that workers jubilated over the President’s directive.

It will be recalled that the workers of the University, under the aegis of Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), had protested the methods used by the dissolved Governing Council in the selection of Professor Ayobami Salami, and had petitioned President Buhari who summarily ordered the University Senate to pick a man of integrity to serve as the VC of the 54 years old University in acting capacity.

The workers who were jubilating at the choice of Professor Elujoba led him in a convoy of cars, while others trekked to the Senate car park which the workers had renamed Freedom Park.

The Acting Vice Chancellor, is an accomplished academic who had served as the Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy; Chairman, Committee of Deans and Chairman, Ceremonials Committee of the University for several years.