Prof. Kayode Adebowale, a Professor of Chemistry and the Vice Chancellor, of the University of Ibadan, who hurriedly declared the Ogun State Governor’s Dapo Abiodun’s reelection on Sunday 19th March, 2023 despite the obvious basis for a rerun in view of the massive organized disruption of over 100 Polling Units and the deficiency of the margin of lead requirement, has been speculated to have had his emergence as VC due to the strong intervention and influence of the Chairman, UI Governing Council, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. Oyegun, the former National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), supposedly anointed Adebowale amidst 15 other competent contestants for the top job. Kayode Adebowale becomes new Vice-Chancellor of UI (https://wuzupnigeria.ng/news/just-in-kayode-adebowale-becomes-new-vice-chancellor-of-ui).
You can do the maths and decide for yourself why Prof. Adebowale was so much in a hurry to declare Dapo Abiodun’s re-election in an election that was clearly marked with violence, manipulation and malpractice, so much that the Coalition of Registered Political Parties in Ogun State has called for the arrest of the INEC Returning Officer over “rigging” of the election. Ogun Gov’ship: Opposition Parties Demand Arrest Of UI VC Over ‘Rigging’ – The Affairs Newspaper (https://theaffairs.ng/ogun-govship-opposition-parties-demand-arrest-of-ui-vc-over-rigging/).
As a flashback, this is what Tribune Online had to write about his appointment as VC of UI on October 24, 2021:
It is far more than a coincidence that an alumnus of the University, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, was later appointed as chairman of Council by the Federal Government, following the tenure expiration of Nde Joshua Waklek-led Governing Council. Chief Odigie-Oyegun consequently inherited the crisis of appointing a new VC. The crisis had become so fierce, and like an unattended sore, it metastasised into a festering wound, with the cloud becoming vitriolic and acrimonious. Nobody seemed to have a hang on the riddle until Chief Odigie-Oyegun came with his Solomonic wisdom. The former All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman creatively stanched the instability in the system by recalibrating the appointment process, ultimately leading to the emergence of Professor Adebowale. _– Dissecting Adebowale, new UI Vice Chancellor – Tribune Online (https://tribuneonlineng.com/dissecting-adebowale-new-ui-vice-chancellor/)
Could it be said that Prof. Adebowale decided to return the favour to APC, the Party of his beloved benefactor by declaring Dapo Abiodun the winner of the 2023 Gubernatorial Elections without recourse to the Electoral Act and the wishes of the people?
It is no longer news that democracy was raped in Ogun State in the just concluded 2023 Governorship Elections held on March 18, 2023. The INEC Returning Officer who is also the Vice Chancellor of the prestigious University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, is the man who adamantly laid his thumb on the scale of justice to declare the re-election Prince Dapo Abiodun, against the wishes of the people, flanked by the Ogun State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Niyi Ijalaye.
The major opposition parties led by the PDP Candidate, Ladi Adebutu have severaly called for a rejection of the Election Results and a rerun in the areas affected by violence. — PDP, Adebutu reject Ogun gov poll results (https://punchng.com/pdp-adebutu-reject-ogun-gov-poll-results/?amp). From the Poll Results announced by Prof. Adebowale, APC had 276,298 votes, while PDP had 262,383 votes with a difference of 13,912., against the total number of 33,750 cancelled votes.
Besides, unlike States like Kebbi (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/nwest/589345-inec-declares-kebbi-governorship-election-inconclusive.html)_ and Adamawa _(https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/nnorth-east/589215-just-in-inec-declares-adamawa-governorship-election-inconclusive.html), where INEC declared the Kebbi governorship election inconclusive due to the fact that the total number of cancelled votes was higher than the gap between the winner and the second runner up, Prof. Adebowale deemed it fit to declare Gov. Abiodun victorious with a winning margin of only 13,912 votes against the total number of 33,750 cancelled votes. In a case like this, the election should have been declared inconclusive, similar to Kebbi and Adamawa.
Furthermore, PDP, in a petition submitted to INEC through its state collation agent, Sunkanmi Olajide has said that “We are aware that the principle of margin of lead as established by the Commission in Section 24(3) is in effect, affected by the inability of the population greater than the reflected lead between the assumed winner of the election and the runner-up. Therefore, a re-run is appropriate to address this injustice.”
When Integrity Trumps Corrupt Indebtedness
Does integrity pay?
In sharp contrast to the ignoble actions of Prof. Adebowale, Prof. (Mrs.) Nnenna Nnannaya-Oti, the INEC Returning Officer for Abia State, stood her ground when she was allegedly called by Prof. Mahmood, INEC Chairman to be briefed on “the proper way to proceed”. She insisted on abiding by all INEC guidelines and went on to declare Alex Otti of the Labour Party, as the winner of the Elections. INEC Declares LP’s Alex Otti Governor-Elect Of Abia State – YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk875wlRa5U).
It is remarkable to note that Prof. Oti got back her reward for integrity both in building a great reputation as well as in millions of Naira — (“Integrity” – After getting SUV Car, Abia INEC Returning Officer, Nnenna Oti, bags N100m gift – https://voiceairmedia.com/2023/03/24/integrity-after-getting-suv-car-abia-inec-returning-officer-nnenna-oti-bags-n100m-gift/).
Indeed, integrity pays!
One would ask, why would Prof. Adebowale choose to repay his debt to APC by declaring Dapo Abiodun as the winner instead of following the path of Integrity like his counterpart in Abia State? Is the porridge of beans the “Eleyi of Ogun State” gave him worth the dreams and aspirations of the good people of Ogun State as well as a cherished reputation of integrity?