Offa professors reject govt’s choice for KWASU VC

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Muhammed Akanbi, Vice-Chancellor of Kwara State University (KWASU)
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The Offa Professors Forum has described the process that led to the appointment of Professor Mohammed Akanbi as the Vice Chancellor, Kwara State University, Malete as unfair.

In a statement signed by the Chairman of the forum, Professor Hussein Oloyede, on Sunday in Ilorin, the professors said the appointment was not in tandem with what Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had promised Kwarans.

The statement noted that Professor Mahmud Sakah from Kwara North Senatorial District was rated first by the Committee of Council rather than Professor Akanbi from Kwara Central Senatorial District, who was rated third behind Professor A. Gana, also from Kwara North Senatorial District.

The statement reads in part thus: “The Offa Professors Forum (OPF) learnt with great shock of the appointment of Professor M. M. Akanbi, SAN, as the Vice- Chancellor of Kwara State University, Malete (KWASU) from a statement released by the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology on 1st April, 2020.

“In the statement referred to, the Commissioner alluded to the fact that the governor, in making the appointment, relied on the recommendation of the Governing Council of the institution headed by Professor Saka Nuru.

“We want to state from onset that Prof. Akanbi, SAN, is ordinarily qualified for the position of Vice- Chancellor of the Institution.

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“It would be recollected that during the Selection process in 2019, the OPF raised the issue that the Selection Board ( a committee of Council) was skewed in favour of Ilorin Central Senatorial zone (where they constituted 4 out of 5 members, including the chairman).

“The exercise went on never the less and three (3) Professors were recommended in the following order of merit:1st Professor Mahmud Sakah (from Kwara North), 2nd Professor Gana (from Kwara North) and 3rd Professor M. M. Akanbi (from Kwara Central).

“This was the state of affairs by the time the present government came in May, 2019.

“The then in-coming government set up a Transition Committee preparatory to its taking over government and it was advised, concerning KWASU, that the selection process for VC was faulty and that the Council should be dissolved (for so many other reasons also), a new council constituted and the position of VC re-advertised.

“When the government took office, it ordered a Visitation to KWASU, which was overdue and also recommended by the Transition Committee.

“It is noteworthy to state that the Visitation Panel was chaired by somebody from Kwara Central. The Visitation Panel also recommended the dissolution of the University Governing Council.

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“The government thereafter constituted a panel, also headed by somebody from Kwara Central, to draft a white paper on the Visitation Panel Report.

“The OPF did not encourage its members to apply for the position of VC of KWASU because it felt that the then Deputy VC, Professor Mahood Sakah, who is from Kwara North is eminently qualified and that it was high time the North be encouraged to occupy the position, in the spirit of fairness and inclusiveness.”

According to the Forum, KWASU is owned and jointly funded by all the three senatorial zones of the state and the situation where the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Acting Registrar are all from only Kwara Central is “repulsive.”

The statement added that the argument being put forward that Sakah is 67 years old does not hold water.

It said: “The Council saw his age before he was shortlisted, interviewed and ranked first in the selection process carried out by a panel of five consisting of four members from Kwara Central.

“To now use his age to disqualify him is a ploy to perpetrate over-lordship of a zone over the two other zones.

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“Ilorin is reputed to be a centre of Islamic scholarship which is looked onto to practicalise all what Islam preaches.

“Definitely the way KWASU Vice-Chancellorship is handled cannot be said to be in the spirit of justice and fairness.”

The forum told the governor that he was not properly advised on the appointment of the vice-chancellor of KWASU.

It said: “This is not in tandem with what you promised Kwarans to be fair to all sections and be just.

“The candidate that came first in the interview should be appointed in line with the dictates of Allah which enjoins justice, even if the other party is your relative.

“We pray for the success of your administration and pledge our support in ensuring a just Kwara state.”

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