By Adejumo Kabir
The first indigene of Ile Ife to paddle the affairs of OAU, former Acting Vice Chancellor, and Professor Anthony Elujoba today successfully handed over to the 11th substantive Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede.
The inauguration ceremony took place at Oduduwa Hall of the University with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, Chairman of Governing Council, Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, principal officers of the institution among others in attendance.
The immediate past Acting VC Prof Elujoba expressed his heart filled appreciation to God and the generality of OAU for the unflinching support given to him during his 10 months acting vice-chancellorship of the institution that restored normalcy to campus after traumatic experience.
Elujoba appreciated all unions on campus for not frustrating his administration to luck down the campus for a day throughout his tenure despite his failure to satisfy welfare demands, remove all the bedbugs in hostels, inability to provide water and electricity all the time and reduce the stress in the overcrowded lecture theatres.
He encouraged his successor, Ogunbodede to consciously enforce obedience and absolute compliance to the rules and regulations, with the principle of doing things right. He said: “By the grace of God, we didn’t witness even one day of closure except on public holiday breaks”.
He also expressed his immense gratitude to His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll for his constant encouragement at the cause of sustaining peace to once embattled university.
“I am very eager today to handover to a substantive 11th Vice Chancellor of a personality of Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, a seasoned manager of men and materials whose skills, integrity and overall record as a former Dean of Dentistry and Provost of College of Health Sciences”, Elujoba said.
He finally admonished Professor Ogunbodede not to join the bad eggs in university.
Also, the Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi said that the council is proud to conduct selection of VC process that was agreed to be free and fair by all.
He said, “22 people applied, 21 were shortlisted and at the end of it all, Professor of Dentistry, Prof. Ogunbodede emerged and was confirmed.”
“We resist all pressure from different angle, we conducted election that was adjudged free and fair by all applicants. We thank God and Prof. Elujoba for his integrity and we wish him the very best”, Ogunbiyi stated.
The Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, said the emergence of Prof. Ogunbodede is indeed a new dawn for the University and he believed that the inauguration is the continuation of smooth transition on OAU campus.
Ooni said: “I am grateful to God that I am part of this success story and I enjoin all of us to learn from immediate past acting vice chancellor, Professor Anthony Elujoba that honesty and sincerity pays off”.
Professor Ogunbodede, the 11th VC while addressing the audience solicited the support of all students and staffs towards accomplishing his vision to make OAU world class university that will be globally recognised as the epitome of teaching, transformational scholarship, cutting edge research and community service.
“We must as staffs, students, members and friends of the OAU community engage in mutually beneficial collaborations and partner with industry and other relevant stakeholders for the progress of the institution, the nation and global community as a whole”.
He pledged total commitment and conscious enhancement of team approach through an open door policy to promote OAU to be the best university in Africa and one of the topmost universities in the world.