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Ever since the appointment of a new VC for KWASU in person of Prof. Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi (SAN), the social media space has been thrown into a rowdy milieu of some sort, churning out junk narratives and ill-motivated press statements from familiar mischief makers on self-political misadventure delicately adorned in the false garment of justice and fairness crusaders.

One of such recent garbage they called press statement, undeserving of any response but for the need to put the record straight, came from yet another Kwara south group which named itself the Igbomina Professionals Association (IPA). Each time the wailers from the Kwara south shed their crocodile tears, one wonders “who is pregnant and whose breasts are swollen”? How come the sympathizer suddenly became the chief mourner?

For the sake of setting the record straight, let us examine the IPA’s claims in their purported press statement for its face values with a view to exposing their real motives for all these crocodile cries. By and large, one thing is very clear, the recent dissenting voices from these holier than holy elements are only exploiting the recent appointment of KWASU VC, which least concern the Kwara south, to execute some politically motivated vendetta against the current administration of Mallam Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq.

Though the press statement of the Igbomina group was well scripted, it is however difficult to distinguish the content from the earlier junk issued by the Offa Professors Forum (OPF), which in fact may have been authored by the same persons. First and foremost, since the claims of the IPA, just like those of the previous wailers from both the south and north, borders basically on marginalization, it is expedient to throw more light on the KWASU VC appointment and few other appointment made so far by the current KWSG.

Let us highlight and examine some vituperations from the Igbomina press statement which in context and intent are fallacious, diversionary and libelous. Take a look at these:
_“It is out of concern for the far-reaching consequence of this development that we are here calling on the government and other stakeholders to dispassionately address all the issues being raised in this loud controversy, with a view to saving our dear state from self-condemnation to permanent division and suspicions along geo-political and ethnic lines”……._

“This unconscionable manipulation of the polity to confer an undue permanent advantage on a section is a threat to the harmony and peaceful co-existence for which the state wishes to be known”……._
_“To us, it is a ploy by the elements who rule the status quo in the state to dubiously legitimize the injustice inflicted on the two other senatorial zones, Kwara South and Kwara North”……._

For me as a public administrator and others who are familiar with corporate governance, it is needless to say that some of these statements quoted above from the IPA press statement have crossed the threshold of freedom of speech and expression as they are seditious and meant to incite the citizens against the present administration and ultimately make the state ungovernable.

The IPA and their likes should realize that their recent direct attacks, in the name of criticism, on the person of the Executive governor of Kwara state, His Excellency Mallam Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq and his administration constitute a naked rebellion and threat that is chargeable for treasonable felony under the law of the land.

For instance, how does the appointment of one of the three candidates forwarded by the governing council to the Visitor, who has an unbridled right under the law to appoint any of the three as the KWASU VC constitutes a self-condemnation to permanent division along geo-political and ethnic lines as claimed by IPA?

It is instructive to state that the fact that the new VC of KWASU comes from Kwara Central, just like the pioneer VC, does not make the appointment lopsided as we are also aware of several institutions where Kwara South enjoys unholy dominance to the detriment of other segments of the state, for which nobody weeps.

A perfect example to buttress this fact happened when His Excellency, Mallam Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq appointed the second chairman of KWIRS from the same local government area in Kwara south where the first and pioneer chairman of KWIRS comes from and nobody, and I repeat, nobody in Kwara central, till date, has cried out of being marginalized or of a lopsided appointment.

i. Does the Igbomina people think that the good people of Kwara central do not know the strategic position of KWIRS as a revenue collecting institution for KWSG to have allowed all the chairman/CEO to have come from Kwara south? What is good for the goose is also good for the gander!

ii. Does the IPA think that the people of Kwara central do not know that much of the appointments done by the pioneer Chairman/CEO of KWIRS were heavily skewed in favour of Kwara South to the detriment of the people of Kwara Central?

iii. Is it not unjust, unfair and an abuse of privileged power to place two staff, one with qualifications relevant to the statutory duties of KWIRS such as someone with B.Sc. in Accounting with professional qualifications far below the second with a B.A Agric without professional qualification and cognate experience simply because the former is from Kwara central and the latter is from Kwara south?

iv. As it is being portrayed by all the narratives from the north and south, is it only KWASU that is jointly owned and co-funded by all parts of Kwara? Are colleges of education in Lafiagi, Ilorin and Oro not owned and co-funded by all parts of Kwara? What about Federal Polytechnic and College of Health Technology both located in Offa? Are these institutions not owned and co-funded by all parts of Kwara?

v. Can IPA tell us if the unholy monopoly of the people of Offa over the position of rectorship of Offapoly, since its inception in 1992, even at the expense of better qualified candidates from other segments of the state,  is just, fair and deserving of an institution owned by the federal government and funded through our commonwealth?

The unhealthy dominance of the people of Kwara south in all positions where any of their indigene heads, need not generate any argument as it is a well-known fact already in the public domain. Permit me to cite few instances to buttress the fact that the Kwara south are actually the one guilty of their cry of marginalization.

I can vividly recall the tenure of Prof. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo as the CMD of the UITH when all hell was let loose against the people of Kwara central. Prof. Olatinwo who had enjoyed an unfettered cooperation and support while he was DCMD to his erstwhile predecessor in office, Prof. Suleiman Kuranga of Kwara central extraction, suddenly turned round and started his Kwara south agenda to the detriment of the Kwara central as soon as he became CMD.

Another notable show of cruelty, marginalization and annihilation against the peace loving people of Kwara central is currently playing out at the University of Ilorin where the incumbent VC, Prof. Abdulkareem Age, who also rode on the back and supports of his predecessor in office, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali (OON) of Kwara central extraction, suddenly commenced his Kwara south agenda, working tirelessly against the interest of the host community since his assumption of office. So many other examples abound of the Kwara south’s cruelty against the people of Kwara central for which I don’t want to bug you with.

Now, coming again to the issue of justice and fairness which ostentatiously form the basis of the IPA’s attack. Though as the IPA rightly observed in its press statement that Kwara belongs to all Kwarans and that none of its part is larger than the whole, but can it be said to be just and fair for KWSG to allot positions on equal bases to the three senatorial zones in the state, irrespective of territorial population and spread?

It is my sincere opinion that it is high time for these political wailers on sponsored campaign of calumny against the present administration in the state to realize that there is a whole lot of difference between academic appointments based on career progression which are usually based on qualifications and merits as against political office appointments that are determined by political affiliation and certain sharing formula.

The wailers should desist from the mischief of pretending to be supporting the Kwara north that failed to present qualified candidates of Nupe and Moro extractions who are from the same Kwara north, and dissipated all its energies to scheme for the less qualified Prof. Sakah Mahmud from Baruten part, to achieve its age long betrayal and hatred for the people of Kwara central.

Lastly, before I end this narrative, let me quickly respond to the Prof. Sakah Mahmud who in his claim of exercising his citizenship’s rights of expression to respond to the supposed false statements concerning his candidacy, threw caution to the dustbin when he accused the government, his employer of “manipulating ethnicity in the state by choosing group that are more important than others”.

Instead of accepting your fate brought upon yourself by your past iniquities and manage your grief in a more mature manner, you have decided to call me a liar, forgetting that the same personal file of yours you referred to in your response contains more implicating details of how you dubiously got promoted from lecturer 1 when you joined KWASU in 2011 to a full professor in 2014 with only 9 publications that cannot survive any critical peer review process.

You have no doubt made your contributions to KWASU’s stability at critical moments by towing the path of honour particularly at the waning period of Prof. Abdulrasheed Naallah’s tenure when you stood by him for his reinstatement. But you must also remember that you have been handsomely rewarded by the same master you served.

This was why everything was schemed in your favour to succeed the pioneer VC as a way of compensating you for your loyalty.
But you must realize that despite the grand design that ensured that you were over-rated at 86.4% at the interview, far above your actual performance, while your northern compatriot who was drafted into the race was allotted 74%, little did you and your god-fathers know that the Almighty God has His own plan for the best qualified candidate whose performance was deliberately under-rated at 63.2% just to ensure your emergence at all cost. 

I am not surprised that you are now boldly bragging of being the best candidate at the interview, by making assertions of being in the best position to know the challenges and way forward for KWASU. This is actually your personal illusion and cannot serve as a tangible excuse why you should be wondering which candidate could have scored higher than you. I think you are experienced enough to know that to be a good VC goes beyond being an insider, as questions asked were not solely on KWASU.

The emirate professors who erred by referring to you as a contract staff in KWASU were subconsciously correct as you were 58 years of age when you joined KWASU and therefore not fit for permanent employment in the institution ab initio in line with the civil service rule that stipulated contract staff for people above 50 years of age.

Your claim that you have since extended a hand of cooperation to the new VC should be taken with a pinch of salt as the import of your response suggests otherwise. I agree that you did nothing wrong by applying for the position of a VC which you think you qualify for, but you were eternally wrong for challenging the authority of the Visitor who has unalienable power of choosing from the list approved and forwarded to him by the governing council.

Finally, let me remind you and the wailing conspirators from the Kwara south, that power belongs to the Almighty God who bestow it on whom He wishes. Power is also transient. For KWASU, today it is Kwara central, tomorrow, only the Almighty knows whose turn it would be.

The new VC cannot do it all alone. So let us all not challenge the work of God. Let us all eschew the politics of bitterness, ethnic suspicion and distrust, and put our hands together to take KWASU to greater heights.

Dr. Olayiwola Aremu Writes from Ilorin April 12, 2020.

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