“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” – Martin Luther King. Jr.
It is no longer news, that the selection of the new vice-chancellor of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University has come and gone with the emergence of Prof. Simon Bamire, and ever since the announcement of the election that produced the erudite scholar, there has been a series of protests by some members of the Ile-Ife community over the defeat of Prof. Rufus Adedoyin, an Indigene of Ile-Ife.
There’s no doubt the election and the selection process of the OAU vice-chancellor is one of the best around the world that should not generate any form of tension. However, the aggrieved persons should note that the series of protests by some of the Ife Indigenes negates the age-long tradition and foundational ethos of Omode Gbon, Agba Gbon that Ile-Ife was built on. In as much as protest is a fundamental right of every aggrieved Nigerian, the commercial dimensional approach this protest is taking especially with the video clips circulating on social media, showing coercion, intimidation of people going about their lawful and legitimate business, the disruption of business activities by the hired protesters and masquerades needs a quick intervention by all meaningful Nigerians because this kind of misunderstanding, if not quickly addressed may lead to chaos, and anarchy hence we appeal to the “aggrieved” persons to channel their grievances through the appropriate channel and quarter for redress if any.
The prompt and quick intervention of the visionary appeals by the Alumni body under the able and feisty leadership of Engineer Wale Olaleye, the Global President of the OAU Alumni Association, is a welcome development and a timely intervention knowing fully well that OAU is a global community on her own, established for learning and culture. Hence, the invasion was unnecessary and uncalled for, since the process which produced Prof. Bamire, a Professor of Agric Economics was free, fair and square.
Also, the maturity and composure of the responsible and responsive leadership of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitayo Ogunbodede, the entire management team, and Great Ife students are highly commendable in the face of unwarranted provocations. As a proud alumnus, I want to appeal to Mr. Oyatokun Babatunde, the dutiful Chief Security Officer of the Obafemi Awolowo University, to as a matter of urgency build up security with other security agencies around the school to protect lives and property.
It is most unfortunate, that Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba race, will consider the appointment of another son of Oduduwa a problem simply because he is not from Ile-Ife.
The ever conscious Great Ife Union should as a matter of necessity invoke section 40 of collective responsibility of the sacrosanct constitution of the Union to ensure that normalcy is returned as it is an incontrovertible fact that Aluta will remain against all forms of oppression. As the demands of the protesters lack logic, wisdom which negates the foundational ethos of Omode Gbon, Agba Gbon, though we will not remember the words of these enemies but the silence of our friends at this critical point in time and For Professor Bamire’s emergence as the 12th Vice-Chancellor Ife Oye Ojumo ti Mo!
Once again, congratulations to Prof. Bamire, the VC elect, OAU.
Long live Great Ife!
Oluwaloseyi Babaeko, aka Kevolutionary- Kelvin ( K.K) writes from Odobata- Kabba.