Some professors at the University of Ibadan (UI) have backed the decision of the newly constituted university council to restart the process of electing the 13th Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the institution.
They stated this in separate interviews with journalist in Ibadan at the weekend as news filtered in on the decision of the UI council.
Reports had it that the process of electing the 13th VC for the premier university had been marred with various allegations on the processes set by the former VC, Idowu Olayinka.
The UI VC race started in May 2020.
It was also gathered that the decision to restart the VC selection process was reached at a meeting of the university council held on Friday and presided by its chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun.
The council also resolved that apart from the cancellation, the VC position should be re-advertised.
The meeting also set a new timetable for the commencement of the new process to be released by the second week of July 2021.
Reacting to the development, a Professor of Guidance and Counselling at the university, Oyesoji Aremu, said the decision was a welcome development as the council sought to start the whole process afresh.
“Oh! it is a simple thing and of course, straightforward. It means the new Council wants to start on a clean slate.
“This is commendable and should be gratifying to all parties both within and outside, given the various shenanigans that greeted the last exercise,” he said.
Also, Francis Egbokhare, a Professor of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, UI, said it was the right thing to do because the context was already too quasi and contentious.
Mr Egbokhare said if the council continued with the old process, the institution would be having a divided university along religion, cartel and canals over the next four to five years.
“It would have led also to a very toxic academic climate, where professors would be more into politics and not their academic callings.
“So, it is best that the council should reset the starting point.
“And I hope that those who led us into this quagmire would have learnt their lessons. The information on ground is that people have been entrenched into various positions capable of undermining the process.
“I hope that council will be able to manage the situation so that there would be a sense of fairness and community in the way people approach it, and not just from the point of view of council alone but UI community itself,” Mr Egbokhare said.
The don further urged the new council to earn the trust of the UI community and see to it that people are not contesting based on political power but their academic contributions as well as the capacity to make a difference in the system.
“Decisions like this for most people in UI is a matured way forward but then all hands must be back on deck to ensure that the most suitable hands for our next mission in approaching our vision will be the man that emerged as the VC,” he said.
Mr Malomo noted that the old process for electing the new VC was a bit unusual of UI.
He added that now the heat has died down and the fume has subsided and light is beginning to show forth and that is the way UI really is.
“And we believe this will give us back our normal UI mentality,” Mr Malomo said.
It would be recalled that an acting VC, Adebola Ekanola, was put in place on December 1, 2020, for the period of six months, after the Olayinka administration could not follow through with the process of electing a new VC.
However, the crises lingered till the end of the old Council under the chairmanship of Nde Joshua Waklek with various allegations of misconduct, manipulation and biases from members of the UI community on the election process.
This led to the extension of the tenure of the acting VC, who also has been unable to complete the process of electing a VC before the embargo placed on the process by the ministry of education through the National Universities Commission.
Strike: We’re Waiting For Govt’s Reply To Our Presentation — ASUU
According to the union, calling off the strike soon rests squarely on government responding to its presentation made through a committee set up by the government to negotiate with it.
Checks by newsmen, last Friday, showed that the national leadership of ASUU had made its presentation to the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee set up to renegotiate the 2009 agreement signed by the two sides.
Speaking in a telephone chat with The Tide Newspaper, National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said his union had done its best in the circumstance.
“We have made our presentation to the committee and there is nothing more to add,” Osodeke said.
On when the feedback was expected from government, he said: “They promised to get back to us within a short time.”
Though he did not say anything about what the union’s presentation contained, it was gathered that the union could give the government more time to meet some demands that had financial implications.
When contacted, Briggs said his committee had met with ASUU and had done its assignment.
“We have met and ASUU have made their presentation. Some people sent me on an errand and I have to report to them. The committee is not the final authority on this matter. We are not the ones to determine what will be done,” he stated.
It would be recalled that ASUU went on a four-week warning strike on February 14 this year and had extended the strike twice, first, by eight weeks and second, by 12 weeks.
Lagos Solicit Stronger Partnership For Equitable Education
The Governor who stated that the ultimate aim of government is to ensure all students in Lagos State receive quality education in a conducive environment confirmed that his administration paid 1.1billion for WAEC students in 2022 as it continue to ensure yearly increment in budgetary allocation for the sector.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the Y2022 Equal Summit held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island stated that the past three years has witnessed tremendous improvement in the overall value chain of the education ecosystem.
His words, “Our model of investment is informed by the desire to entrench 21st century technology into the sector. This huge investment will ultimately result in significant improvement in learning outcomes’’.
Expressing the desire of the state government in taking the education sector into an enviable height, Sanwo-Olu said the education summit is an opportunity to present the education score card and inform Stakeholders of the government’s future plans and needs of the industry.
He said the initiative organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment will continue to open up opportunities for public private partnership interventions and mutually beneficial investments.
According to him: “Our administration also seeks to recognise and appreciate the tremendous contribution and donations of various private partners who supported the State Government’s Education Transformation Plan, most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown of schools.
Group Gives WAEC Scholarships To 35 Indigent Students In Imo
The award is the second edition following the maiden project in 2021.
Presenting the scholarships in Owerri, the Interim National President of the organisation, Dr Nina Nwulu, urged the beneficiaries to show determination in succeeding in life.
“Under no circumstance should you joke with your education or indulge in drugs.
“The mentality that education is a scam should be jettisoned because in Nigeria, your certificate counts,” she said.
Nwulu, who described education as the “hallmark to every development,” urged the Federal Government to do the needful in resolving its impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“The issue is not about salary but about the government putting in place all the infrastructure that would make reading and learning conducive for students.
“We want our students to be exposed to every facility needed to learn properly; the lecturers are equally going through hell in terms of their packages.
“If politicians taught by teachers can be comfortable, why not the teachers,” Nwulu, a senior lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), asked.
The Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Jasper Opara, said the body aimed to assist the beneficiaries fulfill their academic pursuit.
According to him, if the students miss it at this stage of their major examination, they can lose it from there.
Opara, who explained that 25 students were sponsored in 2021, expressed delight that most of them performed excellently in the WAEC examinations.
He explained that the organisation, with different chapters in seven states and some countries, was made up of people from different tribes, who grew up and schooled in Owerri.
Also, the Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Olaedo Ike-Godson, said the body was passionate about helping government and doing charitable work, literacy, health programs, economic empowerment and sanitation.
One of the beneficiaries, Franklin Igwe from Emmanuel College, commended the organisation for the gesture.
“It will spur me to focus more on education so that when I grow up, I will be able to sponsor those around me,” another beneficiary, Miss Precious Onyemuche, said. (NAN)
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