Give Prof. Abdulkareem Age His Medals Now!
By Tajudeen Habeeb.
A few weeks ago, I had an engagement with a lecturer from the University of Ilorin on the issues of my Alma Mata with special interest on leadership and development. The unfair treatment of the pharmacy students – graduates during last month’s induction ceremony was one of the topics discussed.
Yes, earlier on, I had my doubts that the university might be losing her identity since the enthronement of Professor Age. The bushy environment, sterile academic development, little infrastructural growth, sagging level of discipline among others were the tools of measurement.
Most importantly, the good image of the university could take the deep due to the antics of the renowned professor of chemical engineering, Age. Although, a journalist friend who attended the media parley in commemoration of Age’s 1st year as VC tried to change my perception of his administration, my worries with the Vice-Chancellor is unaddressed.
Now, I am afraid some of these worries are manifesting. As they say, a leopard doesn’t change its skin. Or what is in an administration faced with questions of incompetence and nepotism, a man wearing a black garment but projecting white?
My name is Tajudeen Habeeb, I am a graduate of Telecommunication science, I will be telling you a story of nepotism in my department as aided by the Vice-Chancellor of my Alma Mata. I will be saying this on behalf of a section of the dissatisfied TCS alumni.
The University of Ilorin, and in fact, a general adoption of universities across the world, allows for retaining of the first-class products of the institution. This is a believed adopted method to encourage and have the best brains in the education system. The University of Ilorin specifically allows for such students to be offered employment as Assistant Lecturer against the Graduate Assistant which is the entry-level for a first-degree holder, given the condition of space availability.
The year 2016 set of Department of Telecommunication Science of the University of Ilorin produced a single first-class student in Azeez Olayinka Nurudeen. By all standards, he is a worthy first-class student, a dedicated and committed fellow, who merited retainment by the university standards and laid down principles. But the university acted otherwise, probably because of the imminent change in leadership in 2017 by the time he rounded off the mandatory one year youth service.
But the subsequent scenario however proved me wrong, hence the need to ask the question why he wasn’t employed immediately after finishing his youth service and indicating desire to return?
The only reason why this should never be, is if there is no space for an Assistant Lecturer. Now can they say there was no space? If there was no space, how come a year after, they advertised for the same position? Even if the space just became available, why wasn’t he first contacted? No other reason than the fact that some people in the administration were keeping the slots for their people. Did you say No? I will prove it.
In the year 2018, the university placed an advert for recruitment of Assistant Lecturer position for the department of Telecommunication science, which afforded “Baba Wa” as we fondly call him, the opportunity he wanted. Within this period, he had already acquired the practical knowledge of our course of study, enough to earn him an edge for any telecoms related opportunities.
As someone passionate about teaching with the undying ambition of returning to the department in the future as a lecturer, he applied with strong belief he would get the job as a qualified applicant who also had the competitive edge of possessing a First-Class degree from the department.
Nurudeen attended the interview with one other product of the department, Kazeem Adewole, a 2014 graduate of Telecommunications. He shouldn’t have gone through the interview process like others as an outstanding student but he did and I trust he did well.
To the surprise of many, Nurudeen did not get the appointment as released by the university and accepted by the department. However, two assistant lecturers were employed to the department by the supposed employment committee who ought to be independent and upright so as to have the best at the university.
Here is a masterstroke: The two employees, yes were Master’s degree holders, that probably should be an edge but Kazeem Adewole had an Msc degree too and by training, he was a Telecommunication scientist while the other two were Computer scientists.
Nurudeen needed no Master’s degree to be considered for the position, many thanks to his brilliance that earned him a First-Class. Instances abound in the school. So, what then disqualified the two products of the department and qualified the two outsiders? I will tell you.
One of the two employees is by name, Abdulkareem Zainab Age, a daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of the university! Yes, you heard me well, an Age was considered above others, after all, her dad was the Vice-Chancellor, so she could study Mathematics and lecture in English department at the detriment of the qualified people. Nurudeen and Kazeem got a go- to- hell for not having VC fathers, even though they were the most qualified.
The second person, Akande Abdulhakeem, is said to be a boy/relative of the almighty lord and head of the faculty cabal, the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information Science, Prof. Rasheed Olugbenga Jimoh of Computer Science department. Hence, the power to employ and deploy their products anywhere with no consideration for expertise.
May I for justice case add that while Ms. Zainab Age, might lay claim to some telecoms related subjects by virtue of doing her Master’s degree in Malaysia, what justification is there in recruiting Mr. Akande who had his first and second degree in CSC from the University of Ilorin without any theoretical nor practical experience in telecoms?
Even 10 years ago, when the department was newly created, when there was a dearth of trained telecommunication scientists, nobody with CSC Ilorin at masters level was employed. How come now that many have been trained, we
have resolved to employing computer graduates?
This is not an attack on CSC Ilorin, but as an HND holder in computer science, a student of the faculty, and a trained telecommunication scientist, I can authoritatively say that their curriculum do not emphasize the concepts taught in telecoms.
If it does, there won’t be need for Telecoms as a department in the same faculty with CSC for that matter. If what they are saying is that Telecoms is a subsect of computer science, then they should scrap the department.
This is a department that has been graduating students for the past 6 years but unable to run post-graduate programs for several reasons. For the growth of the department, one would expect that they will employ competent hands when the opportunity suffices and not accept any compensational employment.
Maybe, this whole thing wouldn’t have been a case if Professor Abdulkareem Age had not been portraying himself as the last saint expected in the return of Jesus while living in stark contrast. A man who prides himself as an upright man was denying the less privileged their privileges in a bid to satisfy his own interests.
Now I ask; If an Age must be employed, why not in the square hole as she is a square peg. Why not deploy her to Computer Science? Why was the First Class student butted for them?
Ok, let me burst your bubble. This Zainab Age in question, has immediately left for her Ph.D. although the civil service rule mandates an employee to have spent at least two years in service before applying for any study leave. She, however, left immediately! Of course, her father is the Vice-Chancellor and the university rules and regulations should be at her mercy and not otherwise. Such is the level of uprightness being displayed by our renowned professor.
While many of us are trying to narrow our education within the line of telecoms to enrich the course, thus playing down acquiring a Master’s degree in a different program, the department is busy filling it with graduates who have distinct expertise from telecoms. This ignobility has made many lose hope in the department as potential staff and post-graduate students. It should be noted that posterity will judge you all. Oh! Maybe some of them are afraid.
Prof. Age is demystifying the past leadership of the university, trying so hard to erase their legacy, advancing the art of nepotism and corruption, while portraying himself as the savior and the upright. Behold, he is a leopard posing as a sheep, perpetuating the same act in different formats. What more can be deceit?
If we cry wolf of his administrative incompetence and deficient human management skills as evident in the continuous threats by the non- academic staff of the university, at least he is growing the numbers of Age’s in the fold. I guess that is enough achievement.
Give Prof. Age his medals now!
Tajudeen Habeeb is a former NANS JCC chairman, an alumnus of the University of Ilorin.
He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org