I sympathise with the current Acting Vice Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Prof Sunnie Adagbonyin who is Governor Godwin Obaseki’s brother in-law, the Visitor to the University. My empathy stems from the durable fact that the Governor of the State is the only credible credential that qualified him for the office of Acting Vice Chancellor. It is unfortunate and regrettable that an Acting Vice Chancellor is exhibiting timidity – irresponsible juvenile bravado – as a pocket tyrant and oppressor.
His crappy and ossifying antics to suffocate the truth, haggles everyone to buy into half-truths, is the preoccupation of a typical opportunistic character who, rather than stay with the truth, engages in hybridized shenanigans. Only yesterday, after his lies were exposed that he actually hiked tuition fees in the University, he shot down the institution’s tuition fees payment portal to avoid media wide-fire.
It is tragic and literally eviscerating that an Acting Vice Chancellor of the State’s premier University – who lied to Governor Obaseki that he could run the University without subvention – started his job from the outset with the inauguration of a dubious, deceptive, disparaging and primitive information management strategies in the 21st century to truncate the institution after removing his children from their place.
To be sure, Prof. Adagbonyin has since relocated his children who hitherto were students of the State University to other stable universities. He knew the doom that he was cooking for AAU, Ekpoma which he did not want his children to experience. Ultimately, his intention is to increase the institution’s fees beyond N30,000 (Thirty Thousand Naira Only) minimum wage reach of most parents, so that the children of the poor wouldn’t have access to basic and standard education. He is also not unaware of the crisis that would follow his ignorable and primitive approach hence his children must be kept safe.
The question is why should the Acting Vice Chancellor be inventing emotional tools of blackmail, clutching at every available straws to remain in office? The trouble with Prof. Adagbonyin has been his inability to sustain the deception he signposted in his initial proposal that he would run the University without subvention from the state government. After lying to his brother-in-law to be rewarded with the state’s common patrimony, he is now overwhelmed by his own follies.
On his first day in office, Prof. Adagbonyin took undeserved, rude and crude informational tactics to a grand art with institutional arrogance, power gone awry snapshots and a clanish messianic grandstanding that has grounded the University to the dust, irredeemably. It’s now dawned on Governor Obaseki that deceit of his opportunistic brother-in-law; deification of an overrated professor has railroaded the University to a tipping point.
The Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole-led Edo State Government sustained a monthly subvention of not less than N271million and another monthly grant of N20 million for pension/gratuity to the University. The school fees as internally generated revenue was also exclusively for the use of the University. While there was agitation for increased state’s funding by staff unions in the University under Oshiomhole’s time, the University was never left to completely fend for itself such as the present predicament being foisted on the University via disguised introduction of the wicked policy of self- sustainace by the Godwin Obaseki-led Edo State Government.
On assumption of office as Executive Governor of Edo State and Visitor to the University, Obaseki crashed the monthly subvention to the University from it’s relative Olympian height of more than N271 million to ridiculously paltry N41 million, having stopped the monthly pension grant of N20 million. As we speak, Obaseki’s Government may have stopped any form of subvention to the University since Adagbonyin’s coming as Acting Vice Chancellor, a desperate academic in search of power who assured the Governor of the capacity to run the University without Government subvention.
The Governor, in a mournful, bitter and painful tone regretted a few days ago for falling for the Acting Vice Chancellor’s inordinate antics and the dummy he sold to him that he could run the University without subvention from government.
His bleak, empty brand message of incivility, crudity, arrogance, and insults bely any professorial standard in any sane institutions worthy of the name. The bitter part of his equivocation has been a veiled dig at his immediate predecessors in order to secure his office. He should have been sufficiently educated to the point of knowing that adopting lies, empty propaganda, banal media subterfuge and obscure styles as instruments of information management perished with the stone age!
How do we educate a narrow-minded or closed-minded administrator to the point of holistic restoration when unwritten policies of ruthless lie and unremitting propaganda have been adopted as official institution’s craft to change the obvious facts? Succinctly put, the era of relying on propaganda machine to propagate falsehood by double-faced characters in a collapsed institution like AAU is not sustainable.
Who will educate Prof Adagbonyin that oppressive chants, intimidation, insult and pathological lies are the weakest link and ineffective ways of communication? Prof Adagbonyin should know that this strategy is dry and intellectually impoverished, as a career conscience manipulator. Intellectuals who rely on such manipulative brand of media management to obliterate the truth, coarsed perceived enemies to submission are always victims of their own devices.
It is trite in elementary communication ethics that hauling barbarous, impulsive, sophomoric insults against those opposed to your archaic strategy, cloying, hagiographic defense for obviously failed system is escapism. It lacks nuance, it is perilous; childish, illogical, bereft of commitment, and persuasion. Prof Adagbonyin and his minders have been sourgraping, gaslighting, infantilizing and pathologizing, because I have the audacity to criticise his make-believe ‘saintly administration’. He has also been devious with uncanny intent that those calling for probity and accountability are doing so because they weren’t patronized by his administration. His thought process in this direction is one of the most debased morbid mindset I have encountered in recent times when all his shortcomings are in the public space.
He has forgotten so soon that the former Vice Chancellor, Prof Ignatius Onimawo is still battling his cases with the anti corruption agencies over his financial infractions. Prof Benson Osadolor, an intrepid tribune, excellent intellectual powerhouse and an astute administrator whose short stay as the Vice Chancellor, dug massive grave for criminal elements in that crime scene called Ambrose Alli University, is being venerated till tomorrow.
For Prof Adagbonyin, one of his notable achievements is his abuse of language when he said at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Center in Benin City, that “AAU is a victim of media attack”, in an attempt to slurr his critics in an unimaginative vituperation and reckless propaganda without addressing the issues of tuition hikes and salaries crises. That style of branding is an unproductive way of exposing oneself for further scrutiny and attacks in a way never imagined in the first place. It is an elemental truth in branding, persuasion and information management.
It doesn’t need retelling that Prof Adagbonyin, as the University’s Acting Vice Chancellor has been defined by a bewilderingly extravagant fondness for willful and easily falsifiable lies. His uncanny phonemic style with falsification has been further exposed with his persistent claims that tuition fees were never increased. One is tempted to believe that a known psychiatric disorder with compulsion, lies in coarseness and impunity in its crudest form, make liars to believe in their own lies. It’s unthinkable that someone who called himself Professor of Stylistics will be a victim of public relations deficit and allowed himself to come under heavy fire for allowing facts, truth, and logic to be trampled upon.
For I care, the awful whispering from Prof Sunnie Adagbonyin over the rots and ruins of Ambrose Alli University, has simply broadened and widened scrutiny and relentless interrogations in the institution. We must not allow accidental conveyor of cadaver for the vultures of institutional retrogression – pillaging and ruination, in the home stead of Ambrose Alli University – Ekpoma, to fester beyond this point.
Erasmus Ikhide contributed this piece via: firstname.lastname@example.org