Just as the University of Ibadan is getting set to announce a new vice-chancellor on Wednesday, the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) are flexing muscles against the selection process.
Members of the unions barricaded the varsity’s gate on Wednesday, carrying placards condemning the process. Some other members of the unions stormed the university’s Council chamber where the final selection is to be made.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that their grievance is that they have a fear that the selection committee was planning to impose one of the candidates on the university.
The protest began after the screening committee announced six finalists out of 18 professors eyeing the post.
The university’s NASU Chairman, Mr Malachy Etim, told NAN that the unions decided to make its grievances known because “the process of selection of a vice-chancellor for the university has been very faulty from the beginning.
“They want to impose a candidate on us through this faulty process and we are saying we cannot accept any imposition.
“Yes, we have had internal crisis before, but the one that triggered today’s protest is the selection process.
“We are holding our congress right away and shall come up with a position in the event that the committee announces the candidate we think it wants to impose on us,’’ he said.
Chairman SSANU, Mr Wale Akinremi, also told NAN that members of the screening committee elected internally “got there through manipulated and fraudulent electoral process’’.
“We will never work with the candidate they plan to impose on us. We have even locked the varsity’s gate,’’ he said.
“We must restart the process. Prof. Idowu Olayinka, the sitting vice-chancellor, must hand over to an acting vice-chancellor,’’ he stressed.
Five of the six finalists are professors of the University of Ibadan, while one is from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The six finalists were shortlisted after each of the 18 candidates made 15 minutes presentation before the screening committee comprising the entire Council members of the institution on Tuesday.
Three of the finalists are Prof. Kayode Adebowale, Prof. Olusegun Ademowo and Prof. Ebenezer Farombi.
The other three are Prof. Abideen Aderinto, Prof. Babatunde Salako and Prof. Femi Mimiko from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).
The five-man screening panel is headed by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Nde Joshua Waklek.
Other members of the panel are two external representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education, Sir Ben Okoronkwo and Dr Uchena Uba.
The two elected representatives of the Senate in the screening committee are Prof. Ezekiel Ayoola and Prof. Peter Olapegba
When contacted, the university’s Director, Public Relations, Mr Tunji Oladejo, told NAN that he would not like to comment until the final announcement has been made.
Whoever emerges as the new vice-chancellor is expected to assume office on Dec. 1.