By Ogunseye Odunayo
The Joint Association of SSANU (Senior Staff Association Of Nigeria Universities) and NASU (Non-Academic Staff Union Of Universities), UI Chapter, on the 30th of October, 2020 wrote a petition to the Minister of Education, stating their observations and recommending solutions to the biases being noticed in the process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor of the University, in order to avoid crises on the campus.
Few weeks ago, the process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor for University of Ibadan started. However, the process caused a tumult on campus, as SSANU and NASU observed a protest on the 28th of October, 2020 due to the observations of individuals and groups in the University that the process is fraught with manipulation, biases and irregularities.
They noted that E-Voting as a tool of election which was introduced in the University in 2019, has been used to achieve personal agenda against the overall interest of the University.
They further observed that the Internal Council Members cannot nominate or coordinate the activities of the External Council Members. Also, the representative of the Minister of Education can only be an observer who gives report accordingly, but he or she cannot be a member of the selection board.
As it was stated in the petition, “The Vice Chancellor, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, is obviously biased and has done everything possible to tilt the result towards his preferred candidate”.
The Joint Association of SSANU and NASU recommended that the initial process of appointing the Vice Chancellor should be suspended immediately, and the petition committee should look into the available petition in place of the Senate headed by the Vice Chancellor, who is accused of being bias.
In addition, they recommended that the Minister of Education should look into the activities of the current Governing Council in order to be able to assess the unending crises since the appointment of the current Vice Chancellor.
In order to be able to coordinate a fair process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor for the University, the Joint Association of SSANU and NASU recommended that the current Vice Chancellor should proceed on leave. The Minister of Education should inaugurate a committee of former Vice Chancellors, in order to be able to appoint an acting Vice Chancellor, who will oversee the process in order to give a transparent, fair and just process of the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for the University.
According to them, “the University has built impeccable reputation over the years, which should not be sacrificed on the altar of personal interest and myopic sentiments. The process of the appointment of the Vice Chancellor is a solemn activity that should be free and fair in the interest of peace, continued pursuit of goals of the University and National development”.