By Hammed Shittu
A non political group based in Ilorin, Gambari Progressive Society has defended the Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, over his recent appointment of Prof. Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi as the new vice chancellor of the state owned university, KWASU.
The group said that the visitor to the university who is also the govenor of the state, followed universal standard and law of the university in the appointment
The move by the group to defend the governor on the appointment, according to THISDAY checks, was not unconnected to the series of controversies that greeted the appointment of the VC.
Three candidates, including the new vice chancellor Prof. Akanbi, were shortlisted for the interview for the plum position and Prof. Akanbi was said to have come third during the interview but the governor picked him among the three candidates as the new vice chancellor of the institution.
Since then, tongues have continued to wag in the state as some stakeholders have expressed divergent opinions over the appointment.
However, a statement issued in Ilorin on Monday by the group, which was signed by its Secretary, Mr. Sidiq Abubakar, and made available to journalists in Ilorin, said Prof. Akanbi had intimidating credentials and exposure than the other two candidates that made him to be appointed by the governor.
The group stated that, “The Kwara State University is a citadel of learning where scholarship and character are produced in line with the universal best practices.
“The visitor and Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara state followed the universal standard to appoint Professor Muhammed Akanbi and also has the exclusive power to appoint in accordance with the law of the university”.
The statement added that, “We are constrained to pass some comments on the Balderdash called protest against the appointment of Prof. Muhammed Akanbi SAN by the different Associations from Kwara North and Kwara South.
“We are unperturbed by the comments of the Offa Professors and Igbomina Progressive Association. We are used to their antics and diversionary tactics.
“Right from the regime of David Lasisi Bamigboye, we have imbibed the attitude of “Don’t- care- about- their- antics,- just- go- on -with- your- work. Their nefarious acts are unnecessary distractions to progress”.
The statement stressed that, “It is clear that Kwara South had developed an institutionalised prejudice and hatred for anything or anybody in position of authority or leadership who is an indigene of Kwara Central. But, not to worry, we have learnt to develop thick skin to all your protests and comments.
“As for Kwara North, their protest has allowed us to know why the position of leadership in Kwara State has been eluding their citizens. They do not believe in Almighty God. They only believe and trust human beings.
“They erroneously believe that it is the government that can elevate them to position of greatness.They have collectively forgotten or neglected the message from the Holy Quran on power”.
While describing the appointment of Prof. Akanbi as a well deserved one, the group opined that, “Professor Akanbi is a very active professor. He is a professional Assessor, Post Graduate and External Examiner in more than 20 reputable universities within Nigeria and Abroad. .
“Prof. Akanbi is a member of many professional organisations including the Nigeria Bar Association, Law Teachers Society, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators United Kingdom and Nigeria and Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. He has also got the highest distinction in his profession as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)”.
The group however solicited the support of all and sundry for the new vice chancellor in order to move the institution to a greater height.
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