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Before We Crucify Prof Sidi Osho… Why She’s a Victim of Vicious Politics in the Academia

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Before We Crucify Prof Sidi Osho… Why She’s a Victim of Vicious Politics in the Academia

Before We Crucify Prof Sidi Osho… Why She’s a Victim of Vicious Politics in the Academia
January 23
18:55 2020
*How She Lost Two Children in 18 months.
Across Ogun State and beyond, there has been an avalanche of praises for the stellar composition of the commissioners recently inaugurated by the governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun. A renowned technocrat himself, Governor Abiodun, obviously, did not narrow his searchlight to just his political family, he searched long, far and hard for the best and brightest minds the state has on offer and who can contribute to helping him build a better future for the state.
Now, he is being commended for putting together perhaps the most intellectually and professionally robust team ever in the history of the state.
Expectedly, there would be a sprinkling of dissenting voices over certain choices and a soft target has been sighted in Profesosr Sidi Osho.
An accomplished academic, no doubt, many had thought that with her expansive capacity, competence and character, on one hand, and being a woman too, her primary constituency, the academia, would rally round one of their own. Yet, the heat, perplexingly, is emanating from there.
No sooner was she nominated  than the campaign of calumny began with allegations that Prof. Sidi Osho had hidden some of her working experiences from the profile she presented to the state government, especially as it related to her stint at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.
Thankfully, one of the few who should know, Professor Afolabi Soyode, who served as the Vice Chancellor, OOU, when Prof Osho was a Senior Lecturer, has risen to her defence. In a letter addressed to the governor, Prof. Soyode submitted that Professor Osho is “capable, versatile, and industrious with a high dose of integrity.”
He said that the allegations against Osho were “fabricated issues of misconduct” to chase her out of the institution.
“Your Excellency’s choice of Prof. Sidi Osho as a Commissioner is a good one…Please dig deep into this (sic) suspicious allegations and insinuations and you will probably find they are better disregarded.”
In what he termed “a personal testimony on Prof. Sidi Osho”, Prof. Soyode minced no words about her integrity and professional excellence. According to him, Osho, as a Senior Lecturer, was “appointed Chairman of the Guest Houses Committee, a profit-seeking enterprise and she initiated new projects and pursued them with vigour and her usual drive. She performed in that role to our satisfaction.”
About her professorship, which was also brought up, Soyode confirmed that he knew that Osho was appointed a Professor in July 2012. He said he was not in contact with her for few years until he was invited by preeminent Nigerian lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola to the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, where Osho was the pioneer Vice-Chancellor.
“Chief Afe Babalola spoke glowingly of Sidi Osho and I corroborated with my own knowledge of her, I visited ABUAD on yet another occasion when the VC was still Prof. Sidi Osho.
“I had assumed that she went back to OOU after leaving ABUAD, until now, when suddenly accusations were flying about of gross misconduct, disciplinary action against her.
“It pains me that a promising Senior Lecturer who was made Chairmanship of the Guest Houses Comiittee and who performed beyond expectation (of) a solid Professor, suddenly became an object being despised and ridiculed. And that after serving as a pioneer Vice-Chancellor of a topnotch Private University, (ABUAD),” Soyode said.
Professor Soyode associated the sustained criticisms of Osho’s imminent appointment as Commissioner with the ‘pull him down’ syndrome, which according to him “is not uncommon in OOU.” He recalled an instance when a Senior Lecturer was almost pulled down before he subjected what he termed surface damning accusations to simple questioning “and it became clear this was a deliberate fabrication of serial lies by a Dean to roast the Senior Lecturer.”
A Professor of Economics and celebrated author, Soyode advised Governor Abiodun to stick to his guns as Osho “will serve your administration very well and probably turn out to be one of your Star Commissioners.”
Osho, a Food Systems Agriculture expert, was appointed a Senior Lecturer, and was promoted Associate Professor/Reader in 2004 during Soyode’s tenure as Vice-Chancellor of OOU. She was due for promotion for Professorship in 2007 but the university did not process her for reasons best known to the authorities. Prior to moving to academics, she had a stint with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Ibadan, where she worked as a scientist.

Sadly, Professor Osho has had some troubling personal moments which include losing two children within the spate of 18 months; yet, she has been able to rise above this grossly excruciating experience and give herself to the service of humanity. Though she is no longer bleary-eyed or lachrymose.  But those who can testify to her uprightness and deep sense of purpose believe she should not be traded on the altar of vicious politics of the academia.

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