Not everyone was of the opinion that the outgone Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, was a totally bad leader.
From the impression created by the unions in the university, especially the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, it appeared Olayinka had no redeeming quality.
However, some letters and messages sent to the former VC by some staff, which cut across all strata, and obtained by The Eagle Online, eulogised him.
Olayinka had been described as a dictator and one who wanted to single handedly select his successor.
His actions were believed to have led to the decision by the National Universities Commission that the premier institution should produce an acting Vice Chancellor since several processes to elect Olayin’s successor had failed.
This eventually led to the election of Prof. Adebola Ekanola in acting capacity as VC.
But writing on Olayinka, Prof. Tim Isioma Odiaka, Head of the Department of Chemistry, said: “Good morning my VC. As you conclude your tenure as the 12th VC of our University on Monday, 30th November 2020, I must thank you most sincerely for all that you did to the development of our Dept of Chemistry under my Headship. I must also thank Almighty God for granting you divine health throughout your five-year tenure. You did your best and I am proud of your achievements. I sincerely wish you the very best in your future endeavours.”
The Deputy Bursar (Treasury), Alhaja Mariam Zakkariya, wrote: “Good morning sir. Hearty congratulations on the completion of your tenure as the Vice Chancellor of this great institution. It was a great experience, but I know the truth will manifest within a short while.
“No money was hidden anywhere and no one stole the institution’s money. Just take your time to rest sir and be happy with yourself.”
Another staff, who simply identified herself as Mrs. Adesanya, wrote: “Good evening Sir. How are you, Mummy and everyone Sir? I personally want to thank you for two achievements out of all other programmes that your Administration has done for our University and has made me to be proud of my Alma Mater.
“The first one was the ban on Motorcycle driving (popularly called Okada driving) in the University. Okada riding was a menace in the University and the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. Some of the disadvantages are stealing, raping of women, kidnapping of people, accidents on the roads and related health issues and noise pollution. Our academic environment needs serenity and seriousness if we want to compare ourselves with Harvard, Yale and Oxford Universities to mention but a few world class Universities for excellence.
“Secondly, the 72nd Foundation anniversary of the University that has just been concluded has put joy in my heart.
“For all these good works that you have done for our University and nation, I trust the Lord to bless you and your family in your future endeavours and pursuits Sir. Thank you very much Sir.
“As your tenure is rounding up as the Vice Chancellor of the first and the best University in Nigeria, I want to wish you well and thank you for the efforts you made in my career in the University.
“I was stagnated and not promoted for more than twelve years but God intervened through you and I am now a Deputy Bursar in the University. From my heart of hearts, I am saying thank you Sir. The Lord bless you and I pray for you that joy of the Holy Ghost shall continually be your portion. You will not mourn nor sorrow over your wife and children and peace shall be unto your Israel Sir.”