TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE AG.NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF ILORIN EMIRATE DESCENDANTS PROGRESSIVE UNION,ALHAJI YAHAYA O.AHMED ON THE ON-GOING DEVELOPMENT AT THE KWARA STATE UNIVERSITY,MALETE, HELD AT THE UNION’S NATIONAL SECRETARIAT,GERI-ALIMI AREA,ILORIN TODAY THURSDAY 9TH MAY,2019.
Distinguished Members of the press,
IEDPU members here present,
You are most welcome to this press conference, which is specifically arranged to unveil the positions of the good people of Ilorin Emirate,who are indigenes of Asa,Ilorin East,Ilorin South,Ilorin West and Moro Local Government Areas of Kwara State,on the on-going development at the Kwara State University,Malete.
The unfortunate development is unambigiously connected with the purpotted removal of the hardworking pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the institution,Prof.AbdulRasheed Na’Allah,as conveyed to the public by the Kwara State Government.
Since Tuesday,7th May,2019,when the controversial decision was unveiled by the Hon.Commissioner for Tertiary Education,Barrister Abdulahi Alikinla,the Union has received so many complaints from her members and other concerned and discerning people from across the world who were clearly disturbed by the pernicious irregularity and undeniable illegality surrounding the decision of the out-going Government of Kwara State to send the Vice-Chancellor of the State University on compulsory terminal leave.
It is important to stress that the decision of the Union to call this conference is informed by her status as an important stakeholder and the voice of a significant segment of Kwara State,which cannot pretend to be unaware of such unusual and objectionable development that have the tendency of eroding the culture of tranquility,academic stability and intellectual excellence erected at KWASU courtesy of the victimised Vice-Chancellor.
The Union wishes to state that the directive that the Vice-Chancellor,Prof.AbdulRasheed Na’Allah should proceed on compulsory “terminal leave” prior to the glorious conclusion of his eventful two-terms tenure is alien to the University system.
The decision was taken in bad faith as the universal practise is that Chief Executives of ivory towers usually proceed on leave after the completion of their tenure of office.
We also want to stress that we have it on good authority that the Governing Council of the University,under the Chairmanship of the respected Prof.Saka Nuru, did not meet to take any decision on the matter under review.
The Hon.Commissioner’s interpretation of consultation with the Governing Council of the University is,therefore, wrong,diversionary and self-serving.The intendment of the law establishing the University is that decisions about the University should be taken by the Council as a group and not through opinion(s) expressed by or “imposed” on individual members on any issue.
We must also add that the decision of the government on this particular issue is unnecessarily heating-up the polity and at a very wrong time when the out-going government ought to be working tirelessly at completing the on-going projects,taking stock of its accomplishments, mending fences,where necessary, and stepping-up efforts,here and there, in preparation for a peaceful transfer of power to the next administration.
We have equally noticed that the administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed appeared to be too desperate in making sure that a particular candidate emerges as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University, not minding the thinking,positions and assesment of the dully constituted Governing Council,which is invested with the authority to oversee and recommend worthy candidates for the position to the Visitor of the University.
The reason for that desperation is nebulous and,therefore, unacceptable to the good people of Ilorin Emirate considering the age-long understanding imposed by a segment of the State that the people in whose territory state-owned institutions of higher learning are located should always produce their Chief Executives.That is why the industrious Igbomina people effortlessly monopolised the Provotship of the Kwara State College of Education,Oro while our Nupe compatriots have consistently insisted and succeeded in producing the Provost of the Kwara State College of Education,Lafiagi,just as the good people of Offa have been producing the Provost of the State College of Health Technology since the days of Governor Mohammed Lawal of blessed memory.
Our Union and,indeed,the peace-loving people of Ilorin Emirate also find it extremely suspcious the drafting of septugenarian Prof.Kenneth Adeyemi to serve as the Ag.Vice-Chancellor of KWASU, despite the presence of two active Deputy Vice-Chancellors,who are distinguished academics and administrators,and between whom one could have been selected to act if the out-going administration actually mean well.
Is it because the imposed Ag.VC has the capacity to do the dirty job of endorsing questionable documents,ruthlessly dealt with staff members from a segment of the State and paving the way for the emergence of his god-son,who is also the anointed candidate for the office of the Vice-Chancellor of the institution?
We do not want to believe that all these acts of illegalities are being executed just to punish Prof.Na’Allah for his principled refusal to play ball on some financial matters.Our conviction is that there are always a better way of addressing issues no matter what or who is involved.
Let me at this juncture make it clear that this intervention is not because our son is a victim of this act of lawlessness.The history of the Union shows that IEDPU has always stand for justice,fairplay and transparency as it would never gloss-over injustice and high-handedness from anyone and on any issue, individual or group.
We see the unnecessary controversy as a script being acted to drag the good name of Prof.Na’Allah in the mud and possibly destroy his alluring reputation.That is certainly not a good way of rewarding a man, who for patriotic reasons,relocated home to take the diificult job of working day and night to build a world-class University from the scratch only to be faced with impending but undeserved disgrace out of office on the platter of politics,egoism and ethnocentrism.
Is there a better way of discouraging such an act of patriotism and indirectly enthroning the culture of brain drain,which is leaving our dear nation retrogressive in favour of the already advanced world?
Gentlemen of the press,distinguished ladies and gentlemen,you will agree with us that any decision(s) taken by anyone,group or authority without strict adherence to the laid down procedure cannot stand the test of time.The attempt to remove Prof.Na’Allah, while by-passing the Governing Council of the University, is a negation of civility,legitimacy and righteousness.It should, therefore, be reversed without further delay in the interest of peace and justice.
To worsen the matter,we got to know that the Kwara State Government is also considering dismissing the Governing Council of the institution for refusing to toe the path of illegitimacy it (government) paved on the matter..Yes,the government has the power to dissolve the Council,as it remains the only constituted authority over our beloved “State of Harmony” but doing so at this point in time and on this very issue will leave no one in doubt as regard the fact that it has a lot to cover as being widely speculated.
We are,therefore,pleading with the out-going administration to jettision that thought as it will be extremely retrogressive, extensively counter-productive and vigorously rejected by people with conscience.
While we thank the out-going Governor of Kwara State,Alhaji(Dr.) Abdulfatah Ahmed, for his statesmanship and for all his administration succeeded in achieving in the last eight years,we appeal to him to call his officials to order by refraining from any act or action that will set a segment of the State against another and possibly soil the good image of the State, which her industrious people worked to build and sustain over the years.
Thanks and Ramadan Mubarak.