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There is no disputing the fact that the paths leading to the appointment or re-appointment of a Vice Chancellor in most Nigerian universities today is highly contentious and not without its ups and downs. The Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt is an obvious example of a university enmeshed in crisis over the re-appointment of Prof. Barineme Fakae as the Vice Chancellor of the institution. Many others abound which not only portends danger for the academic sustainability of our universities but also affects innocent students who are made to bear the brunt of the face-off between government on the one hand and the academic unions on the other. It is therefore, the reason our academic institutions must be devoid of political interference, else the crisis of academic scholarship and dwindling fortunes of Nigerian university education may be a major issue we may not be able to contend with for years to come.

Be that as it may, the appointment of a new V.C for Osun State University (UNIOSUN) has been a long one. Since the tenure of its pioneer V.C came to an end last year and the appointment of a new one due by August 1, 2012, the situation has been one of anxiety and hope that the university will be put on the right track by the Visitor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. In fact, the absence for long of a new Governing Council coupled with its late inauguration late last year by the Osun State Government raised a lot of pertinent questions as to what direction UNIOSUN was taking. One of such was how quickly the appointment of a new V.C who will steer the wheel of the 5 year old university will come.

The Governing Council led by Professor Gabriel Olawoyin (SAN) was saddled with the responsibility of performing the selection process and shortlisting of candidates for the much coveted V.C seat. The process was, however, not without controversy as series of issues by stakeholders within and without the university were raised, most especially on the processes that led to the shortlisting of seven candidates who applied for the V.C seat. Some of the candidates who were not shortlisted were believed to have accused the Governing Council of unfairness and non-compliance with due process. They hinged their accusations on the premise that there had been subtle attempts to manipulate Osun State University Law 2006 to favour some vested interests within and without the university. They noted that the UNIOSUN Law 2006 was clear on issues pertaining to the selection and final appointment of the V.C which they argued ought to be upheld and respected by Council for the sake of justice, fairness and sustainability of the new university.

Despite the intricacies and intrigues surrounding the selection process, the Professor Gabriel Olawoyin-led Governing Council eventually shortlisted three candidates. Prof. Oladiran Famurewa โ€“ a Prof. of Microbiology, Prof. Bashir Adekunle Okesina โ€“ a Prof. of Chemical Pathology and Prof. Funmi Togonu-Bickersteth made the list. Having presented the names to the Visitor of the University, Governor Rauf Aregbesola approved the appointment of Prof. Bashir Adekunle Okesina as the second Vice- Chancellor of Osun State University, Osogbo.

Prof. Okesina, a ChemicalPathologist, was born on October 11, 1954. He graduated with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 1980 from the University of Lagos in 1980. He became a Fellow of Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria in 1988 and Fellow of West African College of Physicians in 1989. He did clinical attachment at the Institute of Neurology Queen Square, London and East Surrey Hospital between 1987 and 1988. From 1991 to 1993, he was a Commonwealth Medical Research Fellow in Clinical Endocrinology at Hammersmith Hospital and Royal Postgraduate Medical College in London. He was appointed Lecturer I at the University of Ilorin in 1989, Reader in 1994 and Professor of Chemical Pathology in 2000. He was appointed Consultant, Chemical Pathology to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital in 1989. Prof. Okesina became Head of Department in 2000-2004 and Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Science, College of Medicine, University of Ilorin from 2004 โ€“ 2007. In 2007, he was appointed foundation Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University from 2007 to 2011. Prof. Okesina has many scholastic publications in local and international Medical Journals. He received International Federation of Clinical Chemistry International Bursary Award 1996; Commonwealth

Medical Fellowship Award 1991; National Honours Award (Post NYSC) 1982; Oyo State Merit Award scholarship for University Education 1976 and Odo-Otin Local Government Scholarship for Secondary Education in 1968. He has supervised several Fellowship Dissertations and has over seventy publications.

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Prof. Okesina is coming with a huge wealth of experience having served as a pioneer V.C of UNIOSUN and seen it all since 2007 when the university began its academic session.

The Professor Gabriel Olawoyin-led Governing Council with this appointment has won a major coup by the way it went all out in ensuring that persons who are very knowledgeable about the culture of the university, its organisation, administration and aspirations expressly hold the role of the V.C. For those who may not be in the know, since the tenure of the Pioneer Council of the university led by Professor Peter Okebukola ended few years back, the university has not been the same again. The vision of the founding fathers to make the university world class is fast dwindling because those who matter in the continuity of this dream have been displaced and replaced with individuals who do not share the same dreams as its original founders.

The appointment of Prof. Okesina is no doubt a good choice and it is hoped that he will take the university towards greatness. His leadership skills, administrative acumen and his ever listening ears is needed at this critical period in the history of the university in making it once again a world class institution it prides itself as. UNIOSUN has come to stay and is fast becoming a major player among comity of vibrant and academically viable universities in Nigeria. On behalf of all the students, staff and alumni of the university, we congratulate Prof. Okesina on his well-deserved appointment. We also use this opportunity to wish him a wonderful tenure in office.

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