Development follows President Buhari’s intervention
By Nsikan Ikpe
A new Acting Vice Chancellor has been elected by the Senate of the long-embattled Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU.
At the close of voting during the Extraordinary Session of the University Senate held today, Professor Anthony Adebolu Elujoba with 201 votes reportedly emerged as the choice of the dons.
The session had been called at the instance of the Visitor to the University, President Muhammadu Buhari after an earlier intervention by Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had only succeeded in aggravating matters.
The development is also coming on the heels of a spirited campaign on social media to #ReopenOAU.
With this development, education sector watchers are speculating that the university may now reopen for normal academic activities, commencing next week.
Elujoba is of the department of Pharmacognosis, Faculty of Pharmacy and sources say he met all criteria to be considered.
A Royal Society of UK Research Fellow looking into Nigerian Medicinal plants, Public Analyst (FDA) and recipient of
numerous professional awards, he has served as acting head of Dept of Pharmacognosis, Dean Faculty of Pharmacy, Chairman Committee of Deans, Chairman Faculty PG Committee/board of studies, Research and selection committee, member, Faculty review panel, Senate Rep on OAU Teaching Hospital
Management board, Member Management board of natural history museum and PG board and Dean’s representative, Faculty of Technology.
He is an external examiner at numerous university examinations while his involvement in research into medicinal plants has brought him into close association with persons living with HIV/AIDS who fondly refer to him as the ‘village chemist’.
Prof Elujoba contested against Prof Lamikanra. Prof Elujoba won with 201votes as against Lamikanra’s 5.
The Federal Government had earlier directed the Senate of Obafemi Awolowo University to recommend one person who will go on to become the Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution. This is coming after a protracted crisis that led to the shut down of OAU.
The Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities had protested the earlier process that had reportedly brought in Prof Salami as VC of the varsity.
The Federal Government soon after the protests dissolved the University Governing Council and asked Professor Salami to step aside pending the determination of the Court case instituted by NASU and SSANU against the emergence of Prof Salami as Vice Chancellor of the Institution.
The Students of Obafemi Awolowo University also went on social media to protest the continued closure of their citadel and the protests were led by Association of Campus Journalists, OAU Chapter and sustained for fourteen days with the students constantly demanding the resumption of activities on the campus.
On its part, the Nigerian Senate had also discussed the closure of the institution at her plenary session on 20th July with Senator Jide Omoworare, under whose purview the Obafemi Awolowo University falls, intimating Senators about the efforts he has put in to ensure the reopening of the University.
Meanwhile, OAU students have expressed joy at this development. A Student of English, Samuel Oluwasegun appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders in ensuring that the University is reopened. He also appreciated the President and Nigerian Senate for their combined efforts aimed at reopening OAU.
The Association of Campus Journalists while expressing joy at the development through her Public Relations Officer, Abegunde Cephas, also thanked the Ooni of Ife on his fatherly role that also helped in ensuring progress has been made in the process of reopening the University .
OAU was shut down on June 22, 2016