Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun state has appealed to citizens of Ile-Ife who are protesting the choice of the new Vice Chancellor for the Obafemi Awolowo University to give peace a chance and stop the protest forthwith.
The appeal is contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governnor, Mr Ismail Omipidan.
Governor Oyetola stressed that though the state has no role in the choice of who becomes the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, being a Federal institution, it has the responsibility of safety and security of the institution and its workers as the host Governor.
He therefore urged all protesting citizens to exercise restraint and allow peace to reign.
“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of concern that I call on the good people of Ile-Ife, especially those protesting over the choice of a new Vice Chancellor for Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, to stop further protest and give peace a chance.
“By their nature and functionality, universities are rules- and convention-based conservative institutions premised on academic and governance autonomy.
“If we have any reason to believe that these rules are circumvented, there are laid-down procedures to remedy such situations rather than resorting to self-help. We are known for peace in Osun. We must therefore not do anything to tarnish that enviable reputation,“.
It would be recalled that series of demonstrations were embarked upon by aggrieved indigenes of Ile-Ife over the appointment of a non-indigene of the town, Prof. Adebayo Bamire as the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the institution.
The protesters threatened to continue their demonstration until an indigene of the university host community is announced as the Vice-Chancellor.