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VC race: Ooni warns protesting Ile-Ife indigenes against law violation



The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has warned the aggrieved indigenes of the ancient town not to take laws into their hands over the appointment of new Vice-Chancellor for the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.

Ooni gave the warning in a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare, on Wednesday in Ile-Ife.

The traditional ruler, however, assured the workers and students of the institution of safety of their lives and property.

He promised the protesters that their agitation would be given adequate and objective attention.

The Ooni said there were legitimate rights and ways to pass messages of dissatisfaction across to relevant authorities, but such must not be made to jeopardise the peace and security of the society.

“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.”

Ogunwusi, therefore, urged the major stakeholders to address the issue at hand, calling on all law-abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses without fear or molestation.

“The good relationship between the town and the institution 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 and progress for the development of the town, state and country at large,” he said.

Our correspondent recalls that some indigenes of Ile-Ife in Osun, had on Monday allegedly invaded the university campus, while armed with charms and other fetish objects, protesting against the appointment of non indigene as the institution’s Vice-Chancellor.

It was reported that the protesting Ife indigenes had on that day closed the university’s two major gates as early as 6.00 a.m, thereby preventing vehicular movement from coming into the campus, while those inside the campus were disallowed from leaving.

The University Governing Council led by its Chairman, Chief Owelle Udoji, had on March 17, shortly after the council’s meeting, announced a Professor of Agricultural Economics, Adebayo Bamire, as the 12th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the institution.

sun newspaper today

Dorcas Elusogbon

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