By Wale Alabi
The JAC branch of Osun State University recently published an article on Democracy Day of 2020 which tagged the Vice Chancellor of the school, Professor Labode Popoola as an autocrat that is running a corrupt administration.
This medley of confused human and disgruntled elements frivolously recounted their usual and unsubstantiated allegations in a hunt to tarnish the hard earned reputation of the Vice Chancellor and rubbish his efforts in putting the school in the front row alongside best universities in the continent of Africa.
In their tantrums, they did not even spare the Governing Council of the University, which has become a model for good university governance. When did it become part of unionism to insult and disparage senior citizens who have volunteered to serve as members of council of a university and giving their time and other resources to ensure progress for the university?
Followers of unfolding events at the university over the last six years would recall that Professor Labode Popoola came on board at a time the institution was bankrupt and in need of intensive care to survive. The institution had been morally, ethically and financially amputated before the current Governing Council and the VC came to its rescue. This VC of proven integrity and global renown clinically performed the necessary but painful surgeries which eventually blocked all leakages and stopped corrupt transactions that nearly suffocated the institution into extinction.
Just like it was contained in their previous petitions to the University Council, State House of Assembly, EFCC, ICPC, SERAP and other organisations where the Vice Chancellor was exonerated of any illicit acts or wrongdoings, it was alleged that the Vice Chancellor purchased a particular land for the university along Odi-Olowo Road, Osogbo a couple of years ago. The said land was purchased from the savings made from the proceeds of the Post-UTME in 2017, which in the past was shared and pocketed by some individuals in the university. The current VC stopped that fraud and invested the fund for the University.
Disappointedly, these myopic and frivolous elements deliberately refused to tell the few people who may read their trash how land in that area has economically appreciated in recent times, which in turn is advantageous to the university’s investment in that regard.
The JAC mischievously penned that a million naira was expended on the University’s guesthouse whereas, it was established that these same people were encouraging the payment nearly two Million Naira rent per annum apart from the huge maintenance cost on a property they were using like a brothel. Under the leadership of Professor Popoola, the school decided to move to a guesthouse, half the rent of the previous one.
Also, I was told by a reliable source inside the university that nearly 400 Million Naira was wasted on the laboratory the JAC people wanted their sympathizers to crucify Professor Popoola for. The structure constructed during 2013 to 2015 which they call Central Laboratory was not fit to keep even pigs. In less than two years of opening the laboratory, it was confirmed that the entire place became ramshackle, started falling apart and unhabitable. Those fighting the recent change mantra accepted the trash handed over to them because they had colluded with the contractors and benefitted from the scam to the detriment of Nigeria’s tax payers.
“For the avoidance of doubts, that TETFund Project is now being rehabilitated into a modern and state of the art laboratory, but certainly not with N200m as the discredited JAC mischievously claimed.” The source emphasised.
It was authoritatively gathered that the school Council used its prerogative to request for a bank facility to build hostels that are urgently needed. Why should that be an issue?
It is pertinent that the society should not forget so soon that these brigands masquerading as unionists aborted the history making visit of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo to UNIOSUN to deliver a convocation lecture in November, 2018
They (JAC) did everything within their means to abort the foundation laying of a 13 Billion Naira world class teaching hospital in November, 2018 by the Chancellor of the University, who doubles as the benefactor of the project.
They (JAC) locked out, and delayed the then visitor to the University, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who was making his farewell visit to the university for over eight hours on the convocation day.
They (JAC) blocked the revered Chief Bisi Akande who was being conferred with a doctoral degree at UNIOSUN from entering the campus. Baba Slanderers was in company with the equally revered General Alani Akinrinade and Prof Olu Aina on that day. These eminent elders of Nigeria were humiliated by these brigands.
They (JAC) sent several traditional rulers and parents who had come to felicitate with celebrants away on the convocation day.
Nemesis only caught up with them and the police charged them to court. Rather than showing sobriety and remorse, they keep on fouling the air with lies and blackmails. This certainly cannot help them.
The society needs to ask why the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Labo Popoola has become their target?
Is it a sin that he has brought sanity to an institution that was always in the news for negative reasons?
Is it a sin that he compelled some of the union leaders and their accolades to refund over 20 million Naira of TETFund money taken for conferences they refused to attend for over two years?
Is it a sin that the VC has blocked internal collusion with contractors for inflated contracts and substandard service delivery?
Is it a sin that he is entrenching and enforcing institutional discipline and academic culture?
None of his policies has negatively affected the institution or hinder its development, but rather enhancing the University’s reputation.
It would interest Nigerians to know that the discredited union brigands and their rogue accolades are only bemoaning the blocking of leakages by the VC. Without their usual knees on the school’s neck, the university is now breathing fresh air and is gradually becoming a model of what a university should be in Nigeria.
Instead of the so-called JAC and their coconspirators to repent, seek forgiveness, re-align with decency and allow free flow of prudent operations, they continue to unjustly attack the personality of the Vice Chancellor.
In my considered opinion, I think it’s high time the society called these brigands to order. This is purely a battle between proven integrity and personal vendetta. It is evident that UNIOSUN JAC doesn’t have the interest of the university at heart.
/Opinion Writer/ Fin Manager/Activist/ Politician
Former SSA, Regional Integration.
State of Osun.