UI VC Race : Eight Applicants Withdraw From Town Hall Meeting Scheduled For Monday

The process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor for the University of Ibadan started on shaky note as no fewer than eight out of the 16 contestants  for the post have withdrawn from participating in the town hall meeting scheduled for Monday.

A Town-Hall meeting organised by the UI Community Forum tagged “The Voice of the Next UI VC, Who is Next?” is scheduled to hold on Monday, October 4.

The forum offers a platform for staff, students and other members of the university community to meet the aspirants, listen to them and ask them questions.

The event is organised by the UI Community Forum consisting of five unions in the institution ― Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Students’ Union (SU), Non-Academic Staff Union of University (NASU) and the Non-Academic Technicians (NATS).

Many of the applicants have written to the organisers to excuse them from attending the community forum owing to various reasons.

As at Sunday, the affected candidates are

Professor Babatunde Salako, Professor Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, 

Professor Clement Kolawole Olaniran, 

Professor Olusegun Ademowo, 

Professor Temitope Alonge, Professor Emiola Olapade-Olaopa, while the incumbent acting VC , Prof. Babatunde Ekanola may not attend too as he is billed for an official engagement outside Ibadan as well as Prof. Ebenezer Farombi, who as at Press’s time, had refused to send his details to the organisers.

It will be recalled that Professor Babatunde Ekanola of the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts was appointed by the Senate as the acting VC in November, 2020 for a period of six months due to crisis that trailed the succession plan of the former Vice Chancellor, Idowu Olayinka.

Ekanola’s tenure was extended in June 2021 for another final six months due to the last council failure to appoint a substantive Vice Chancellor for the 73- year old institution.

The process commenced afresh after a decision to that effect was reached at a meeting of the university Council presided over by its new Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

Some of the reasons adduced by the contestants include advising the new council led by Chief Oyegun to avoid the mistakes of the past as some of the issues raised then were still not addressed.

One of the contestants had alleged in the previous petition that an elected Senate Representative sent in an SMS in error congratulating an anointed VC candidate, in an ongoing selection process. This shows a premeditated action which the new Council must guide against.

Also, some unconfirmed staff were alleged to be among those 153 elected as congregation members to the Senate then. 

It was also alleged that the process then was manipulated by the authority to favour a particular anointed  candidate.

Another major concern raised was the sudden entrance of the incumbent Acting Vice Chancellor into the race. This, they described as morally unethical as he was supposed to be neutral and already  exposed to all the applications of the other contestants before filing his nomination.

Irrespective of all these, the Council is determined to produce a substantive Vice Chancellor by October 14 in line with its revised time table.

In a Press Release signed by the University Registrar Olubunmi O.  Faluyi, it announced the election of Senate Representatives on the Joint Council and Senate selection Board for the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor 2021 to 2026 and calling for nomination.

“Pursuant to the provisions of the relevant Act of the University, with specific reference to the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor, nominations are hereby invited for the Senate representatives on the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board for the appointment of the next Vice-Chancellor (2021 – 2026).

“Specifically, the Act provided for “Two members of the Senate who are professors who were not members of the Search Team, “the statement stated.

It added that 

•Nomination papers will be available for download @senateui.gmail.com  with effect from Monday, 04 October, 2021;

•Nominees are required to sign the nomination papers to indicate  willingness to serve; and

•Duly completed nomination forms should be enclosed in an envelope addressed to the Registrar, University of Ibadan and must be marked: “Nomination for the representative on the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board.”

The envelopes should be delivered by hand to the Office of the Deputy Registrar (Senate, Admission and Affiliated Institutions (SAAI) not later than 12 noon on Friday, 08 October, 2021.

E-voting will thereafter, hold on Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 between 9.00 am and 12 noon.

Senate meeting will start immediately after the election in Trenchard Hall, the statement said.

After the election on October 12,  the screening to select six out of the 16 contestants will hold on October 13.

The council will do the final selection of the six , interview them and ratify the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor on October 14.

The 16 contestants in the race as at Sunday 

 include: Prof. Babatunde Ekanola, Prof. Adeyinka Abideen Aderinto, Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, Prof. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade,  Prof. Emiola Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa,  Prof. Temitope Alonge, Prof. George Olusegun Ademowo and Prof. Kolawole Clement Olusegun Olaniran.

Others were  Prof. Babatunde Salako, Prof. Ganiyu Adesola Aderounmu, Prof. Ebenezer Farombi, Prof. Hakeem Babatunde Faweyinmi, Prof. Rasaq Olatunde Kalilu,  Prof. Anthony Kolawole, Prof. Oladele Layiwola and Prof. Nazeem Oluwafemi Mimiko. 

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