By Williams Anuku, Abuja
In an apparent move to forestall a possible crisis at the University of Ibadan, the federal government has intervened, directing the Senate of the University to convene a special meeting to select one of its members to serve in acting capacity as Vice-Chancellor.
The directive which was routed through the National Universities Commission (NUC) but emanated from the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, also specified that the person the Senate would consider for the plum job must be a neutral party. One that is not involved in scheming to replace the outgoing Vice-Chancellor.
The memo equally directed the university’s governing council to suspend its earlier scheduled meeting for Monday, November 30 by 10 am, saying rather the meeting could hold same day but on a much later hour.
Recall that the current Vice-Chancellor, Abel Idowu Olayinka tenure expires on Monday, November 30th, but ahead of his tenure expiration, some members of the Governing Council had been plotting to replace him.
The situation got heightened recently when in the middle of a meeting at the conference centre of the institution, some members of the governing council walked out of the meeting.
In the memo, Minister of Education, Adamu, faulted the proposed meeting of the governing council slated for 10 am on Monday.
According to the minister, whose letter to the university through its Pro-chancellor was signed by Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, Deputy Executive Secretary (Academics) on behalf of the Executive Secretary, NUC, Abubakar Rasheed, explained that since the tenure of the outgoing vice-chancellor expires on Monday, it would be inappropriate for the governing council to convene a meeting as early as 10 am same day to discuss and consider his possible successor.
He, therefore, directed that the said meeting be shifted to a later time the same day.
“In view of the fact that the tenure of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor expires on Monday 30th November 2020, it is pertinent for the Governing Council to meet in the afternoon of Monday 30 November 2020, to consider and approve the appointment of the Senate nominee as acting Vice-Chancellor,” the letter by NUC Executive Secretary, Abubakar Rasheed dated Friday, November 27, 2020, read.
Further correspondence in the letter reads:”You will please recall the directives of the Honourable Minister of Education on the resolution of the impasse in the process for the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor for the University of Ibadan.
“I write at the behest of the Executive Secretary to convey the Honourable Minister further directive on necessary steps to resolve the impasse and restore peace and harmony necessary for the discharge of the University’s core mandate:
“The Governing Council of the University of Ibadan is hereby directed to shift its meeting earlier scheduled for 10. a.m. on Monday 30th November 2020 to discuss the issue of appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor, to later in the afternoon on the same day
“The University Senate should convene a special meeting for the purpose of selecting one of its members who is not a candidate in the on-going process for the selection of a new Vice-Chancellor, for recommendation to the Governing Council for appointment as acting Vice-Chancellor for a period of ‘not more than six months as stipulated in section 3(13) and (14 ) of the Universities (Miscellaneous provisions: (Amendment:) Act, 2002
“In view of the fact that the tenure of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor expires on Monday 30th November 2020, It is pertinent for the Governing Council to meet in the afternoon of Monday 30 November 2020 to consider and approve the appointment of the Senate nominee as acting Vice-Chancellor in order to avoid a vacuum in the administration of the University.
” Following the appointment of an acting Vice-Chancellor, the out-going Vice-Chancellor should hand-over to the acting Vice-Chancellor possibly on Monday 30 November 2020 or latest by Tuesday 1st of December, 2020.
“The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council is also directed to attend a meeting with the Honourable Minister of Education in his office on Wednesday 2nd December 2020 at 11 a.m. to brief the Honourable Minister on developments following the Ministerial directives on the resolution of the impasse.
“Please accept assurances of Executive Secretary’s highest regards and consideration.”