As the race for the occupant of the Vice Chancellor of the premier University of Ibadan hots up, some candidates have threatened to boycott the exercise slated for October 12, if the Governing Council did not guide the process to pave way for a level playing ground for all contestants.
It will be recalled that only four of the 16 contestants appeared on Monday during the town hall meeting organised by the joint Unions in the premier institution where they unfolded their vision plans to the UI Community.
This was due to the fact that the affected candidates believes that the exercise is loosing it’s credibility owing to some signs they are seeing.
Indication to this came when some compromised candidates for the Senate Representatives election due for October 12 started campaigning again and it was due primarily to the particular two candidates that the previous exercise last year was cancelled and new one started under the new council.
In a message widely circulated by the affected candidate for the Senate Representative reads:
This is to inform you of my interest and to ask for your endorsement in the forthcoming election to select Senate Representatives on the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board for the Appointment of the new Vice Chancellor.
I am willing to offer my service in this regard, arising from my experience as a Member of the Governing Council of our great University for eight years and seven months. I have served as Head of Department and as a member of many important committees in the university. I have gained tremendous experience over the years. This will help in the discharge of the assignment with objectivity and without fear or favour.
Please, endorse my candidature on this occasion.
Electronic voting holds on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, between the hours of 9 am and 12 noon.
Prof Ezekiel Olusola Ayoola.
Department of Mathematics,
The general mood within the university community is that with the inclusion of these two compromised personalities Prof. Ayoola and Prof Olapegba as member of the Senate Representatives, the credibility and integrity of the new effort at electing new VC will be in doubt.
This is to advice the new Governing Council under the able leadership of Chief John Odigie- Oyegun to rise up to the occasion and allow the character and learning which UI is noted for to reflect in their actions.
Inclusion of these two in the electioneering process, is seen in the university community as capable of affecting the reputation of the UI Senate if the council fail to look into the issues being raised by the contestants .
It would be recalled that a Coalition for Autonomy of Universities in Nigeria (CAUN) has applauded the University of Ibadan new Governing Council for bringing integrity into the election process of the new Vice Chancellor of the university thus far by ensuring transparency and due diligence.
But its National Coordinator Ayanteju Olaolu urged the Council to continue to remain neutral by creating a level playing ground for all the contestants so that the best candidate will emerge at the end of the exercise.
It, however, called the attention of the Council to the forthcoming election into the Senate Representatives with respect to Prof. Peter Olapegba and Prof. Ezekiel Ayoola who were already compromised in favour of a VC candidate in the last exercise and need to be excused in the forthcoming election to maintain the integrity of the process.
“This is in the public glare in the university community as an SMS went viral from Prof. Ayoola meant for Prof Ayodele, Dean of Science but sent to Prof Ayodele of Ecotourism in error depicting the process already compromised in favour of a candidate.
The controversial SMS message is hereby reproduced :
” Good morning. As promised, our two candidates for selection committee are Prof Peter Olamakinde Olapegba and Prof Ezekiel Ayoola. Pls campaign for them separately . And never link them formally with Prof Adebowale. Election is on 21 Sept. Thanks. Prof Ayodele.
“We thank God my Dean. We can see that God already answered our prayers. It shall be permanent. Greetings to Adebowale, our wonderful candidate. His papers/ application is second to none. We shall celebrate today. Regards
We thank God “
Messages like the one above ahead of the election already prejudged the outcome of the election and thus tainted the process, which the Governing Council must guide against.
CAUN is of the opinion that many aspirants are not happy that another town hall meeting is being organised, hence the boycott on Monday.
The Coalition, however, appealed to the governing council to guide the integrity of the electioneering process jealously by looking into the issues raised in this statement to avoid falling into the pit dug by the past council. Let’s learn from history.