Foremost traditional monarch, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has cautioned aggrieved indigenes and residents of the ancient town not to take laws into their hands over their dissatisfaction with the process that led to the selection of the new Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The monarch who dropped the warning in a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Otunba Moses Olafare on Tuesday, promised the protesters that their agitation will be given adequate and objective attention.
According to him, “Over the years, the good people of Ife have been a superb host to the university even as they enrol their children and equally join qualified hands (Regardless of background) to work in the citadel of learning.”
“The Ife community is proud to have partnered and still partnering the institution through the House of Oduduwa on viable programmes and projects capable of projecting Ile-Ife to the outside world as an ancient city ready for progress and development.”
“While Ooni Ogunwusi has rallied majors stakeholders to address the issue at hand, Kabiyesi sues for calm, calling on all law-abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses without fear.
“The good relationship between the town (Ile-Ife) and gown (OAU) remains as strong as ever, particularly to the benefit of the younger ones in and outside the university.
“OAU is Ife, Ife is OAU and we shall continue to cohabit in peace for progress. We assure workers and students of the institution of their safety as well as their properties.”
He however argued that “protests are legitimate rights and ways to pass messages of dissatisfaction across to the relevant authorities but such protests must not be made to jeopardize peace and security in the society. ”
“Protest is everybody’s right to make his or her unheard voice to be heard. This is always adopted by professional and academic stakeholders/trade unions; ASUU, NASU, NBA, NANS, religious bodies, political parties and even concerned individuals but it must be done peacefully.
“Over the years, the good people of Ife have been a superb host to the university even as they enrol their children and equally join qualified hands (Regardless of background) to work in the citadel of learning,” he submitted.