Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali has attributed the recent criticisms of his administration to the usual succession bid that usually accompanies the tenure of outgoing vice-chancellors of the institution.
He said the perceived persecution was aimed at ushering him out of the seat with ignominy, as his tenure will expire between July and October this year.
Ambali, who spoke with journalists in Ilorin on the situation at the university, also accused a faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the university of being responsible for his ordeal.
“So I won’t be surprised as I have been told that it is the tradition of some people whenever the tenure a vice-chancellor is coming to an end they embark on smear campaigns against him.
“The campaigns are aimed at ushering me out with ignominy instead of saying thank you for the service rendered, they would say ‘who told you to do all this?’ that to me is not the best way.”
He added that the bashings were calculated attempts to smear the reputation the university had garnered over the years. “To me the rising tempo of attacks on my administration is a wrong approach to succeed in life. If you want the seat of the vice-chancellor, there are laid down procedures by government. You don’t destroy somebody in order to occupy his place.
“You can as well be a fellow good passenger in the bus so that it can get to its destination safely and peaceful and all of you can disembark and go home. But by destroying the same vehicle you want to use to get to your destination, nobody will get there.”
Ambali added that “all the allegations that are going round are calculated at undermining all the 17 years of uninterrupted academic calendar the university has earned and that has also undermined all the good and hardworking staff of the university.
“That to me is very unfortunate. In any democratic setting there should be room for some idiosyncrasies; allow people to be slightly different and do something different from the majority so that we can appreciate the skills and talents God has given everybody.
“If you could recollect that same week we had great challenges at the same time. We had the fire incident at out plantation; the CBT crisis and the write-ups all geared towards putting one into confusion to see whether he would not break.
“I inherited a peaceful university and by the grace of God I will leave the university better than I inherited it and we are on course. We have recorded tremendous growth at the university.”
On the last year’s expulsion of UNILORIN by the national ASUU, the vice-chancellor said: “They told every university in Nigeria not to associate with us. That in all academic and social matters all other universities in Nigeria should boycott us; that we thought was not a wise decision because in matters pertaining to education we should be liberal and allow everybody to interact at whatever levels and exchange academic materials.
“UNILORIN over the last 17 years has been doing things slightly different from the rest of other universities in the country. Though the national ASUU has expelled us from its fold, we have used that time to look inward and focus attention to our tripartite mandate of teaching, research and community service.”