TEMPLE OF LIES by Olawale Babatunde

A rejoinder to Wumi Raji’s “Crisis in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife” on the VC debacle

in OAU

{Some parts of this piece was published in The Nation online platform on 16/07/2016}

The OAU VC crisis has turned to a mine from which news correspondents, public analysts and even university lecturers represent the University in different lights. Some representations are true but some are not. Seasoned artful liars have, unfortunately, appropriated the crisis to practice their art. One of such is Wumi Raji, the writer of “Crisis in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife” from a “Temple of Lies”. Permit me to take up the lies one after the other as he presented them in this piece.

  1. Wumi Raji claimed that the advertisement for the vacant job of Vice-Chancellor was published in two national tabloids. In his letter to the Visitor, the Chairman, OAU Governing Council, stated that it was published in six national dailies. However, the University statute says “Where a vacancy occurs in the post of a Vice-Chancellor, the Council shall – advertise the vacancy in a reputable journal or widely read newspaper, specifying the qualities of the persons who may apply for the post,” So, the Council did more than stipulated, perhaps, in anticipation of black-market lie such as this.


  1. Wumi Raji claimed that the Council scored and ranked in its shortlist. He also suspected a foul play in the current disqualification of contestants who qualified in the last exercise. In the said letter, the Chairman debunked this and instead stated that the Council “shortlisted in alphabetical order and without scores in the recommendation to the Selection Board.” He informed that the Council used CV and Referees to shortlist. So, if CVs of hitherto qualified contestants remain unchanged, in the current round, they therefore stood the risk of disqualification. Here is a lesson for future VC applicants to keep their CVs up to date. However, the statute provides, in black and white, that the Council “draw up a short list of suitable candidates for the post for consideration” without stating any criteria. So, the Council was in no wrong to have used world-class parameters – CV and Referees – to arrive at a shortlist.


  1. Wumi Raji submitted that there was a court injunction restraining the OAU Council from continuing the process of appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor. The Council Chairman, in the said letter, claimed that until now, no restraining court injunction had been served on the Council. I have read the piece – it’s a notice of application! I want to dare this Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts to publish this said court injunction in any dailies and distribute copies on campus to save his name. I want to implore the Council to do same for the Nigerian legal experts to comment.


  1. Wumi Raji submitted that the final interaction of the Council which produced Prof. Ayobami Salami as the 11th OAU Vice-Chancellor held in Abuja. He also claimed that the letters inviting contestants to the interaction did not contain venue and date. He also, sadly, informed that only two candidates were interviewed physically with the third being interviewed on phone from his sick bed. The statute governing the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor is silent on the place of interaction. However, it is assumed that it should come up in the University. The Council Chairman, in the said letter, attributed the Abuja location to security reasons. I have seen this letter of invitation, it contains a location. For the sake of integrity, I implore these contestants to publish their letters in any dailies and make copies for distribution on campus. It is a lie that a contestant was interviewed on phone from his sick bed. Another contestant, Prof. (Mrs.) Aina, who wanted to be our Vice-Chancellor, also, unfortunately, fed an ASUU Congress with this same lie which Prof. Peter Adegbola Akinola corroborated when he said the Council interviewed an “invalid”. This lie by these two professors was immediately debunked by Prof. Akanbi, a member of the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board. The two professors did not challenge him in return. For Nigerians to know that Wumi Raji and his group are liars, as demonstrated by these professors, they should put a call to Professor Charles Oluwole Akinyokun – he can be reached on this number 08034059344. He is a reputable professor of Computer Science in FUTA.


  1. Finally, Wumi Raji alleged that OAU ASUU Branch Chairman, Dr. Caleb Aborishade made a release, “Official Position of ASUU”, in a daily, without calling a Congress. This is a shameful lie! Shortly after the release of Council’s shortlist in which five OAU professors were screened out, a Congress of ASUU looked into the process that resulted in the shortlist. Two members of Council (from Congregation to Council) gave a blow-by-blow account of the process that led to the shortlist. The Congress deliberated upon it and resolved that it was satisfied with the shortlist. Wumi Raji asked to know the names of the candidates screened out. The Congress, however, turned the question down, since there was no case of infraction of procedure. The Congress, thereafter, resolved, following Wumi Raji’s advice (a leaf from UI tradition), to invite the shortlisted candidates for an interactive session contrary to OAU referendum culture. The resolution of this Congress was circulated! All academic staff, thereafter, proceeded on leave after the interaction. During the leave, NASU and SSANU jointly published an advertisement in the dailies faulting the procedure used by the Council. After this publication, there were agitations from press men and members of ASUU for ASUU official position in the media. The Chairman therefore released “Official Position of ASUU” which, in the main, stated that the Union was satisfied with the procedure used by the Council and also included other details that derived from the Executive meeting of ASUU which preceded the release. At first, this release did not create any disaffection. Later, shortlisted candidates who were not favoured by the results of elections into the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board, in Senate and in Council, teamed up with NASU and SSANU to fight against the Aborishade press release. In a Congress after our annual leave, all the contestants except one or two mobilized their faculty staff massively, including non-ASUU members, to the meeting. It was a shameful meeting, with NASU and SSANU members hanging outside as security operatives, awaiting the outcome of the meeting. In the meeting, contrary to calls for superior argument, mobilized congress members insisted on voting. Through the power of number, the Congress voted to repudiate its earlier resolution and resolved to write the Visitor to investigate the process adopted by the Council in the appointment of Prof. Ayobami Salami as the 11th Vice-Chancellor of the University. That same day, the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, announced the dissolution of OAU Council, thereby putting an already concluded appointment on hold because of a pending case in court. The following day, Prof. Peter Adegbola Akinola addressed a press conference detailing the resolution of the Congress of the earlier day and also, added a call to the Visitor for the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor for the University. This anti-Union call of Prof. Akinola is an act of imposition and a lie against the Union.


Wumi Raji’s incurable lying is no news. His appointment in the University was through fraud. The University was misled into thinking that he was one of the Ilorin 49 that were illegally sacked by Prof. Shuaibu Oba Abdulraheem – the then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin.

Mr. Olawale Babatunde is a member of Obafemi Awolowo University community, Ile-Ife.

(Opinion expressed herein solely belongs to the writer, Olawale Babatunde. Therefore, the publisher cannot be held responsible for the writer’s opinion)

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