The Chancellor, Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien (Left) addressing the VC, Prof. Olusola Oyewole (Right) while the Pro-Chancellor, Chief Lawrence Ayinde Olakunle Osayemi listens.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole, has been charged to constantly appreciate the enormity of the expectations and high hopes placed on him by the generality of stakeholders of the institution.
The Chancellor to the University and the Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien, made the call last Friday, when the Vice-Chancellor paid him a maiden visit in his palace, in Asaba, Delta State.
Obi Edozien noted that the high challenge for performance was as a result of the outstanding achievements of the immediate past Vice-chancellor, Professor Oluwafemi Balogun, who was generally acclaimed to have tremendously impacted on the academic, administrative and infrastructural profiles of the institution.
The Chancellor recalled that many of the University’s stakeholders would have wished that Professor Balogun’s tenure be extended, but for the fact that the legislation on the tenure of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities, remain sacrosanct.
“Change time is always difficult to manage; when a man is performing well and he has to go, one wonders what next? At a time, it was like Professor Balogun should be left alone to continue the good works, but people come and go”, stressed the Chancellor.
The Asagba commended the painstaking efforts of FUNAAB’s Governing Council in ensuring strict compliance with standard regulations and procedure in the appointment of an acceptable candidate amongst numerous contenders for the chief executive post of the University.
Obi Edozien also applauded the government for its non-interference in the selection process, which he said would further entrench University autonomy, if sustained, noting that “undue interference is not good for the development of University education in the country”.
The Chancellor then admonished the new Vice-Chancellor to combine the astuteness of a good academic with the prowess of a versatile administrator and the shrewdness of a businessman to ensure a more successful administration, surpassing previous records.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Chief Lawrence Ayinde Olakunle Osayemi, while introducing the new Vice-Chancellor, said the Governing Council was aware of its responsibility of not misplacing the stakeholders’ confidence in it, by ensuring diligent adherence to due process and regulations in the appointment of the new helmsman.
According to Chief Osayemi, the search for a successor (to Professor Balogun), “went beyond looking for somebody capable, but come with a clean record and widely accepted by all sections of the University community”.
The Pro-Chancellor said the Governing Council was able to conclude the selection process a month ahead of the expiration of the former Vice-Chancellor, thereby, paving way for a seamless transition that was unprecedented and attested to by all participants to be fair.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oyewole, commended the significant contributions of Obi (Prof.) Edozien to the nation’s educational development and the sustenance of peace in Nigerian Universities.
Professor Oyewole noted that the autonomy enjoyed by Nigerian Universities was the product of the courageous step taken by the Asagba, when he spear-headed the meeting of the Committee of Chancellors to broker peace between University Unions and the Federal Government in 2009.
The new University’s Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council, Mr. Mathew Odunlade Ayoola, was also introduced to the Chancellor.