It was Abraham Lincoln who said “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing”.
I Woke up this morning to news of disturbing scenes at the Federal University Lokoja, one of the six new Federal Universities built from scratch by the Goodluck Administration.
Poster and banners of the outgoing Vice chancellor Prof Angela Miri with unprintable words saturated the scenes while workers armed with brooms and trumpets sang and danced while sweeping her footprints from the University’s premesis.
While watching these unbelievable scenes my mind quickly flashed back to a contrasting scene few years back when another vice chancellor was leaving the same seat at the same University.
That vice chancellor was Professor Abdulmumini Hassan Rafindadi a professor of pathology, with interest in cervical cancer prostate cancer and medicolegal medicine and the pioneer vice chancellor of Federal University, Lokoja, a post he held until February 2016 at the end of his 5-year term.
Those who knew him say he was an administrator with a difference, a man who knew how to manage people and institutions. According reports his remarkable transformation of virgin land into a beautiful and amiable institution with meager resources, within 5 years left many wondering as to how he was able to achieve such feat
Staff weep as he vacates office
In what appeared to be the first of its kind in Nigeria and an endorsement of his leadership style, members of staff of the Federal University Lokoja, Kogi state couldn’t hide their emotions and wept bitterly and openly as Professor Abdulmumini Hassan Rafindadi left office. The Prof struggled to also hold himself as he waved at staff and students who gathered at the Vice Chancellor’s office to bid him farewell.
Rafindadi and Miri occupied the same office but thier tenures were characterized by two different and distinct outcomes.
Coming at a time when the country is mourning the death a true servant leader and former Governor of Lagos state Baba Lateef Jakande, it is imperative for those entrusted with leadership to always remember they will one day leave office, irrespective of how long thier tenure appears to be.
Those who have been saddled with the responsibility of leading should always remember that muzzling the ox when it treads the grain and denying labourers of their worthy wages when one feeds fat on their sweat will always result in this type of treatment.
As Professor Olayemi Akinwumi resumes as the new vice Chancellor of the university, it is hoped that such acrimony will cease as he will bring his wealth of experience and people management to bear in his quest to take one of Nigeria’s baby institutions to enviable heights.
Dr. Oche Joseph OtorkpaTweets from