Olabisi Onabanjo University (Nigeria) Agboola becomes VC as Olatunde bows out
A glorious era ended, a promising one equally started at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye on Thursday, 13th October, 2022 as the University witnessed a change of baton in its Management. On the historic day, Prof. Ayodeji Olayinka Johnson Agboola formally took over the mantle of leadership as the Vice-Chancellor after the completion of tenure of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde. The transition was seamless.
At a brief ceremony heralding the assumption of office of the new Vice-Chancellor, distinguished members of the Governing Council, led by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Prof. Toyin Ashiru, were on the ground to receive him and also bid farewell to his predecessor.
Until his appointment at
the University, Prof. Agboola was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic. He served as a dependable assistant to Prof. Olatunde, who was in the saddle from 2017 to 2022. Speaking at the presentation of handover notes held at the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee Room, the Pro-Chancellor conveyed the heartfelt felicitations of the Visitor to the University and Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR to the entire University Community for witnessing a hitch-free change of baton. According to him, the Visitor desires the continuation of peace and tranquility in the administration of the University.
Prof. Ashiru congratulated both the immediate past Vice-Chancellor and his successor even as he commended them for providing purposeful leadership for the University over the years. He particularly charged the new Vice-Chancellor to work with the Governing Council in moving OOU forward.
“You are now the father of everybody in this University,” the Pro-Chancellor admonished Prof. Agboola. “Please, work with everyone and relate with them in the task of transforming this great University.”
To succeed, the Pro-Chancellor noted that the Vice-Chancellor should arm himself with “7Cs” success nuggets, which include “Christ, compassion, communication, creativity, compromise, commitment and celebration.” He asked Prof. Agboola to make Christ his cornerstone; show compassion to the people and communicate his development agenda effectively without giving room for rumour to thrive. He also enjoined him to be creative, demonstrate commitment, be ready to compromise for progress and celebrate every achievement on campus.
Prof. Ashiru, who submitted that the new Vice-Chancellor got his appointment based on merit, solicited the cooperation of staff and other members of the University Community for him to properly consolidate on the achievements already recorded in the institution.
He said, “You have done well to earn this position. You are an encyclopeadia of this University. You are also an apprentice of a great leader. The continuity of the great strides in the University is what we want.”
“By God’s grace, you will succeed, you will not falter and God will give you the wisdom to make this University great. I wish you well and pray that we will all look back in five years’ time to rejoice and thank God for what we are doing today.”
Another member of Council, Chief Joju Fadairo, expressed gratitude to God for the successful leadership transition in the University. He said a lot of people were already looking forward to the way the new Vice-Chancellor would continue the good works of his predecessor.
“I want you to have cordial relationship with everybody, including the staff. I know you are not a new person in the system and you know how to relate with the people. I want all of us to work together in peace and harmony and the Lord will help all of us,” Fadairo remarked.
On his part, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Charles Adekoya, appreciated the Governing Council members for the positive role played to achieve a rancour-free succession in the University Management. He also thanked the Ogun State Government for supporting the Council to ensure smooth transition.
“We have to appreciate the government of the day because you know if they have not given Council support, there may be trouble. So, we want to appreciate His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR and the Secretary to the State Government as well as other government functionaries. We appreciate all of them because if we have a peaceful University, the members of Council will also serve in peace,,” the Deputy Vice-Chancellor said.
Prof. Adekoya, who noted that the Vice-Chancellor served the Institution meritoriously in different capacities before his appointment, was optimistic that he would discharge the responsibility of leadership to the admiration of all.
Also speaking, the Dean, Faculty of Administration and Management Sciences, Prof. Russell Somoye, described as “unspeakable grace” the opportunity the University had to usher in a new Vice-Chancellor. Somoye, who is also a member of Council, observed that several Universities had been enmeshed in controversy during the process of appointing Vice-Chancellors.
“We are witnessing a new development. We have had many Universities appointing Vice-Chancellors with trouble. But God led us through to choose our own Vice-Chancellor without any crisis. I want to thank all that made this feat possible,” he stated, while lauding Prof. Olatunde for his exemplary leadership and expressing confidence that the new Vice-Chancellor would build on his legacy.
In his remarks, the new Vice-Chancellor appreciated members of the Governing Council and other stakeholders for the feat experienced in the University. He assured that his administration would work with all and sundry to advance the frontiers of development and equally make the University globally relevant.
Prof. Agboola, who described his emergence as predestined, however, pointed out that there is no victor and no vanquished in the course of the race to the office of the Vice-Chancellor. He revealed that he had already contacted those who contested the position with him and expressed readiness to work with all of them. The Vice-Chancellor said, “It is God that appoints and it is God that puts people into positions. I think it has pleased God to put me in this position and I believe very strongly that God will take all of us to the promised land. I want to assure all members of this Council that I will work closely with them to achieve the lovely goals and objectives of our forefathers as enshrined in the vision of this University.’’
“I appreciate everybody that actually came forward to vie for that position. It was borne out of the love that they have for this University. There is no victor and there is no vanquished in the course of the race to the office of the Vice-Chancellor. We are going to work together.” “All we have seen so far in this University is just a pilot study. By the time we implement everything fully, definitely our University will be great. OOU will move forward and will be known worldwide. Everybody will be happy and we will work together in a peaceful atmosphere with the guidance and experiences of our elders.”
The Vice-Chancellor said he believed God that gave his predecessor the ability to succeed would also equip him with the necessary wherewithal to succeed.
At its 206th (Special) Meeting held on Wednesday, 5th October, 2022, the Governing Council of OOU ratified the appointment of Prof. Agboola, a Professor of Cancer Pathology, as the 11th Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Prior to the change of baton, the Olabisi Onabanjo University Chapel of Abundant Life and the Muslim Community have separately held special prayer sessions for both the former Vice-Chancellor and the new one.