The outgoing Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Ibadan, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has challenged members of the institution’s community that have evidence of graft against him to present it.
Olanipekun, who described his tenure as worthwhile, said since transparency and accountability were key to national development, outgoing leaders at all levels of governance should submit themselves to scrutiny by the people they led.
The legal icon said Nigeria would be better if leaders would, at the end of their tenure, subject themselves to probe.
“We will do better as a nation if leaders would turn to the led and ask anyone to come forward and provide evidence if they stole money when they were in office. This is because accountability is central to national development,” he said.
And to show example, Olanipekun challenged the university community and contractors who have evidence of any fraudulent act against him to come up and declare such.
“And like Samuel in The Bible, I will like to say as I leave, whose cow have I stolen? Did I steal UI’s money? Did I introduce any contractor to UI? Did I take bribe from anyone?
“I challenge anyone to come out with evidence if I stole any money or participated in the award of contracts. Instead of taking from UI, the records are there to show that I added to it, as I believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
“In everything I did in UI, I never compromised the interest of the university. Even those who disagreed with me will never tell you that they disagreed with me because I attempted to steal money. They will tell you that I refused to compromise the best standard of the university,” he added.
Olanipekun said he was leaving the institution better than he met it in 2009, just as he thanked government for giving him a chance to serve.
He said in terms of quality of environment, probity, restructuring of academic and administrative mechanisms, he had done well.
He added, “I’m bold enough to say that we are leaving UI a far better place than we inherited it.
“Through our goodwill, the sweat of our labour and personal sacrifices day in day out, we have been able to uplift this great university. Several vistas have been opened. We have enacted a regime of administration of leadership by example.”
Olanipekun remarked that he did not allow anybody to short-circuit the culture of due process, pointing out that both private and public universities now take a cue from the template he established in terms of appointment of principal officers.
The legal luminary said the only challenge he faced was tackling the complexity of human beings.
He said, “Human beings are very complex, particularly Nigerians. If some people in the Ivory Tower could be fighting over some unsavoury practices that we condemn in the larger society, I wonder what they would do when they have opportunity to lead Nigeria.”
culled from Punch