Shocking news from FUOYE – Part 1
Let me state straightaway that I am dwelling on what I am dwelling on now very much against my wish. Clearly, the subject I am dwelling on now is compelling me to dwell on it. One reason for this, and which I find shocking, is the news that is manifesting from that serene federal university in the beautifully, splendidly serene state of Ekiti of cocoa, banana, plantain, and lustrous dark green mango farms and plantations thriving in the rich hilly soil. This was how I perceived Ekiti State when I found myself there in 2019. It was my first and only visit so far to that state of richly, blessedly brilliant denizens of beautiful brains. Of course, I was looking forward to a second visit to partake in a literary engagement on the expectedly anticipated invitation of the Vice Chancellor Professor Kayode Soremekun of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) who ended his term there two or so months ago.
COVID-19 did not allow the invitation to find me as it forced all academic activities to be jettisoned there – as was the case in all our universities and other tertiary institutions and secondary schools as well. The well-oiled strike of nine months by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was another major reason why I could not fly from Lagos and drive to Ekiti from Akure a second time.
My first visit was when I was invited to FUOYE to deliver its 2019 convocation lecture. I enjoyed that brief visit immeasurably. The drive from Akure to Ado-Ekiti thence to Oye-Ekiti despite the potholes on the road that degenerated into an undulating disturbing narrow track was pleasurable on account of the scene that looked ethereal: harmonious rays of sunlight filtered through layers of picturesque mesh, creating, painting a glowing, yellow hue that gave Ekiti hills and dark green vegetation a peculiarly charming charm. I am not doing a travelogue. I am only trying to task my imagination to let me recollect my maiden visit to FUOYE, a magical new university made more magical by Professor Kayode Soremekun and his management team whom I thought were keen to play by the rules. So I thought. So I believed. So I imagined.
But the shocking news that found me on Tuesday, April 20 of this passing week shattered – or has shattered-my great expectations for the future of FUOYE – the visibly popular new Federal University at Oyo-Ekiti of sacred history – as I was told and taught in my brief visit aforesaid.
Professsor Sunday Fasina, Mr. Olatunbosun Odunsanya and the University’s bursar, a female (whose name I can now not remember) were Vice Chancellor Professor Kayode Soremekun’s high profile management team. Professor Sunday Fasina was then one of the Deputy Vice Chancellors in charge of academic matters, I think, while Mr. Olatunbosun Odunsanya was the Vice Chancellor’s Director of Administration, who I learnt then was very powerful as a committed loyalist can be in every institution that demands untainted loyalty from its cabal. At the time of my visit the Registrar, a female, had retired but was on the last stretch of her extended stay on the post. All of the named backers and acolytes of the former Vice Chancellor were, in varying degrees, wearers of his magical scent. In fact, they wore Professor Kayode Soremekun’s scent like a national flag glued or tattoed on their bodies – although the Director of Administration was the leading wearer of the scent of his boss as I rightly or wrongly perceived him to be. He was rightly loyal – totally so and totally so and committedly and committedly so. It was therefore not surprising that he succeeded the retired Registrar as Registrar of FUOYE.
I assumed that those members of Professor Kayode Soremekun’s social, academic and administrative unity were so close and so tight that their unity parallelled the unity of cells in an organism. But the shocking news flowing from FUOYE in the very short time that Professor Sunday Abayomi Fasina has become the helmsperson of the University has proved me wrong. My rich experience of human nature has informed and underlined in my consciousness as never before that all that glitters is not gold– and by FOUYE’s new experience that has re-informed and re-underlined it. The capacity for extreme forms of battles or of warfare has arisen in the academic colony of the ex-Vice Chancellor.
Let me step you out of suspense. Switches in allegiance of erstwhile common friends are seemingly now rife in FUOYE.
This past Tuesday, two posts found my phone. The first post displayed a good number of dancing young men, clearly staff of the institution, holding and brandishing brooms with which they were sweeping the front of FUOYE’s administrative block in what was tagged Operation “sweep them commot.” It was a telling picture of the new Super-adversaries of the old dispensation and Super-colony allegiance in the new world of the new Vice Chancellor. How sweet is the scent of power!
The second post captured the news suspending the “Registrar of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Mr. Olatunbosun Odusanya.” After studying the two posts, I decided to speak to the new Vice Chancellor and the suspended Registrar. I spoke to the Vice Chancellor first. He told me that Mr. Odusanya committed some “infractions” which necessitated his suspension by the Council of the University. He was brief in his speech. He didn’t explain the “infractions” – although the post that found me gave details of them. I asked him without mincing words: “He committed the infractions in two months?” His reply: “They happened in the previous administration.” My reply: “I thought you were friends.” His response: “Yes.” He cut off.
The suspended Registrar opened up a little to me. The long and short of his statement was that his suspension which debarred him from the campus until he gets a letter to the contrary was and remains a calculated design to thwart his appearance before the Federal Government’s visitation panel already in FUOYE to beam its searchlight on the activities of the university for the past ten or so years. If this is true, all persons and institutions that cherish transparent justice and truth should request the visitation panel to hear the other side. And the other side is the Registrar’s story that needs to be heard.
The youthful Registrar, as he informed me, has received four queries in two months from the new sheriff (my term) in FUOYE. The National Universities’ Commission should insist that Mr. Odusanya be heard. This columnist insists on this and will canvas that FUOYE follows due process in the Registrar’s matter. Even a devil or a monster or a scavenger deserves justice that is justice. I must end this first installment with this poser: Why the rush to place the Registrar on suspension at the material time that the aforesaid visitation panel arrived FUOYE two or so days after members of the panel who would be on the campus for six weeks announced their presence? Another poser: Why could Sheriff Professor Fasina not allow the Registrar to appear before the disciplinary panel he set up before suspending him, a former fellow scent wearer, who certainly is now a nobody in FUOYE? Power sweet o! Phew!
Mr. Odusanya don jam jam. Phew! But this column will follow this matter well well and welluwellu. Phew!
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.