The Chairman, Nigerian Communications Communication (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, has called on Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, to respect the autonomy of tertiary institutions in the state in order to ensure quality education and academic freedom in the institutions.
Akande, a professor of political science, in a statement he made available to journalists yesterday, said Makinde’sfrequentinterferencein the administration of tertiary institutions had the danger of turningthemintomeredepartments of government with the attendant consequence of stifling the performance of the institutions in their primary duties of research, manpower development and community service. Makinde had recently directed the Vice-Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Prof. Michael Ologunde, to step aside from office.
But Akande said the removal of the vice-chancellor was against the laws setting up the university and global best practice in the administration of universities. “The governor, as the visitor to the university, has appointed a governing council to oversee the affairs of the university. Whatever inadequacies noticed in the conduct of the vice-chancellor should have been reported to the governing council, who will investigate and decide the necessary course of action in accordance with the laws of the university. “The approach adopted by GovernorMakindeviolatesthe spirit of the law and is tantamount to a miscarriage of justice. The allegations against the vice-chancellor were not investigated according to the regulations of the university and the victim may have been punished for an offence he did not commit. This is against natural justice.
“The approach of Governor Makinde is fraught with danger. Oyo State is not a one-man business; due process must be followed in the exercise of power, otherwise the governor will unleash a chain of crisis that will undermine the development of the state.”