Yoruba is a very rich language with formulative but prophetic predictions; such are usually coded in proverbs and idioms. They never come without real life experience to prove their efficacies. I want to use two of these idiomatic expressions to open this piece. (1) “Ipa n pa araré oloun pa aja lahi mo pe ti aja baku, ohuna ko ni simo”. —. (2) “Ori okere koko lawo, bawi fun omo eni agbo”.
These expressions can best describe what the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin has done to himself and the University as a citadel. If the alarm was not sounded to him, may be we would have pardoned his administrative neophytism at a time but because almost everyone warned him against the decision to take the University back to the dark days of needless ASUU strike and he wouldn’t listen, because, he thought, doing so would mean a defeat for an imaginary enemies who ensured the local ASUU enjoys “self rule”. Very ignorant and self destructive assumption.
Time To Reckon: Now that the don’t has been done, and the done is telling on the fortunates of the University, shouldn’t we use this opportunity to remind ourselves of the bitter consequences of one of the most tactless and unintelligent administrative action any administrator could ever take against his own mandate. And of course, to teach ourselves a lesson that being on the seat of power doesn’t make you the most intelligent person and that listening to the advice of your subordinates doesn’t make you a weak leader.
It’s amazingly shocking that someone living in a glass house will decide to turn the house into a gladiatorial arena for an end he will forever regret.
Let me repeat myself, the Vice-Chancellor of the University will end up being the worst in the history of that University, he would not only be the one with zero or lesser achievements, he will also be the first and probably the only one who would deliberately destroyed (and has destroyed) the reputation, legacy, norms, traditions and values the University it is reputably known for. The last three years of his administration have been used to demarket the citadel than marketing it, everything the University is known for is now eroding like a town under tsunamic attack.
I once said that we should all “beware of a man who does not care about the consequences of his own action”. I also said that “no man is a danger to others than a man who is a danger to himself. This is not a gloating time and I am not happy doing this but the truth must be told, so that, atleast, some people who thought my criticism of the VC then was needless and a personal attack, especially those who thought the VC decision to take the University back to the dark old days was a good thing.
Let me emphasise, I have no personal grudges against the VC and I am not fighting an ethnic battle, but anyone who took part in the struggle to save the University from the jaws of unrepentant agitators, those who were hell-bent in bringing the University to it’s kneels at all cost, using needless incessant ASUU strikes as a tool to achieve that will never be happy the way the VC is throwing away the gains of the past into the lagoon. I ask, who wants the legacy of his hard-work to be destroyed?
Without prejudice to members of the University Community, the ASUU, SSANU, NASU and all the respected individuals who make up the University, it is now clear that the Vice-Chancellor ignorantly dug a grave for University of Ilorin when he decided to rejoin the ASUU National for no compulsive reason. Now, the University is paying for that thoughtless decision and the pain is just starting – I pray it abates.
Let it be said that one of the selling points of the University, apart from it’s reputation for academic excellence is the strike-free sessions they have enjoyed for newly two decades. Now, the University has lost that glory. There is no difference between Unilorin and others in that regard. Isn’t that painful?
You can only imagine the retrogressive havoc the indiscretions of the VC has caused that helpless citadel.
As I understand it, the VC has been gnashing his teeth in regret, lamenting that he wished he had not rejoined the national ASUU. I learnt a subtle attempt was made to go back on his ill-action but of course, it was too late.
Pathetically, both lecturers and students are paying heavily for the disjointed action of one individual who chose sentiment ahead of tactics and strategy, one man who thought the University is an extension of his private property and that he can take any action without considering the futuristic effects on other stakeholders. Nothing can be more regrettable than having a kindergarten administrator on the seat usually reserved for grounded, humane, conscionable, smart, intelligent, strategic, humble, cerebral and astute administrators.
I must say how sad, helpless and frustrated I am listening to the agony some of these lecturers are going through. Yesterday, I was listening to a discussion between a brother, a Professor and a lecturer in the University with his friends, lamenting very painfully how the non-payment of their salaries is having a bad toll on them, it wasn’t a thing you want to hear, I was so sad and emotional. As a leader that the VC is, you should do everything that protect the interests of your subject not the ones that will jeopardize them, the action of the VC caused avoidable hardship to his own subjects and it’s unimaginably unfortunate.
Sadly, some of these lecturers have no other means of survival than their lecturing earnings, they don’t do any other business, they don’t collect honorarium from anywhere and they are not political appointees receiving allowances anywhere. It was just a miscalculated arithmetics giving negative answer.
It was during that discuss that I learnt it is three years already this month into the administration of the VC, I couldn’t believe how fast the time is running. I am sure the entire University community cannot wait to see the remaining two years fizzle out like puff of smoke as quickly as the last three years did. It sounds funny but the truth is, Unilorin is merely on sabbatical from it’s usual culture of academic and administrative rebranding, this current administration is nothing close to what the University is known for. The University will need another ten years of a better administration to correct the errors of the current administration, an aggressive rebranding for that matter.
Let’s talk about IPPIS. Generally speaking, since this IPPIS debacle, things are even more complicated, opinions are sharply divided and interests more individually defined than generally marshalled. Some people may not understand the extent of the pains of the University lecturers unless you are one of them; they were mere caught in the web of academic politics, denying them months of salaries and putting their families in untoward hardship. It’s regrettably needless.
The politics around IPPIS is not even the one understood by many lecturers, there are alot not known to an ordinary lecturer who just wants to do their job, earn their legitimate pay and grow in peace. It is a complex game of tangle only stealthily understood by their leadership and of course some of the University administrators who are hidden beneficiaries of the subtleties.
Things aren’t funny anymore and the situation is not laughing at all. While hoping that the issues will be resolved soonest, one can only hope that the issues around the payment platform is sorted out and normalcy is returned.
There are more to be said than we can say here and now but time is ageless. All I can say now is for all the parties to come to a common ground, atleast for the sake of the suffering lecturers who haven’t been paid their salaries in months, it couldn’t have been more tough for them.
For the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, who decided to play it the sentimental way, I want to ask you – what is your gain now? What have you achieved from this? What benefits has your action brought to the University? Is the University better than before? How do you now sleep that your singular action is bringing this hardship to your subjects?
Your action is indeed a setback to the University, tomorrow will remember this indiscretion with regrets and your name will resonate in the minds of all those who are currently going through this hardship. Time is ageless.
Ya’aqub Aminullahi Sulyman || Biologist||Educationalist||Reader||Entrepreneur||Community Developer||Motivational Speaker||Optimist||Ilorite||ummy’s Pet||