By Emmanuel Adeleke
The National Alumni Association of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) has called on the institution’s authorities to avoid ethnic and religious sentiment in the appointment of the varsity’s next vice chancellor, warning that it would monitor the process to ensure that only the best candidate emerges.
The association, in a statement issued by its National President, Dr Olawale Fasakin, and Assistant General Secretary, Dr Lai Oparinde, said the warning became necessary in view of the crisis currently trailing the selection of new VCs in Nigerian universities.
Unilorin had also advertised the position in national dailies.
The association encouraged all qualified candidates from within and outside the university to apply for the position, assuring that it would monitor the selection process to certify compliance with extant rules and ensure that nothing is done to favour any candidate by reason of ethnicity or religion.
The statement read in part: “We encourage all interested persons who think they have met the stated criteria, within and outside the University of Ilorin community to apply for the position.
“While wishing all the candidates the best in their quest to take the baton of leadership of our dear university, the National Alumni body is constrained to register the statement below in view of the recent ugly incidents that have characterised the selection process of vice chancellors in Nigeria.
“As a stakeholder in the matters of our alma mater, we believe that the opportunity to be the next vice chancellor is open to all qualified persons, irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliation. Therefore, more than before, the body shall, closely, monitor the process to ensure that the candidate with the best qualification gets appointed as the Vice Chancellor of our great University.
“By that, we are placing members of the public and the relevant supervisory agencies on alert as we enjoin those that are directly in charge of the process to be fair to their conscience and to all the candidates by ensuring that the process is devoid of rancour, negative influences, ethnic or religious colouration and other parochial sentiments that would subvert the aspiration of the candidate best qualified for the position.”