The four members of the University of Ibadan (UI) governing council who staged a walk-out during the council’s meeting held at the university’s international conference centre on Wednesday, have written a petition to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
Recall that the four members, including two external members, a representative of the university’s senate, and another representing the congregation – Mande Samaila; Jaju Muhammad; Abel Olorunrinsola, and Ademola Aremu walked out the meeting after five and a half hour.
They accused the chairman of the governing council, Joshua Waklek, of conniving with the outgoing vice-chancellor, Idowu Olayinka, oto manipulate the selection process and violating the directives of the minister on the matter.
The NUC had on Monday written to the governing council through Waklek, advising the council to immediately reconvene and implement the steps outlined in the minister’s directive, and that the minister should be regularly updated on the development.
The steps the council was directed to take by the minister include a comprehensive review of the process that led to the impasse in the appointment of a new vice-chancellor, fresh conduct of election of the two senate representatives, and that the vice-chancellor should recuse himself from the envisaged senate meeting.
The minister added that all the 18 applicants, who had initially satisfied the requirements outlined in the advertisement for the position, should be re-invited.
The minister also directed that the final selection process be conducted in full compliance with laid down procedures “in an open and transparent manner, and in total compliance with the provisions of the Universities Miscellaneous Act (2007).”
However, a petition addressed to the minister through the NUC on Wednesday, the four members of the council listed seven infractions against the chairman of the council.
The chairman was accused of hoarding the minister’s letter from other members of the council, and that rather than discuss it with members, he was said to have singlehandedly instructed the vice-chancellor to commence the implementation of the contents.
They also said the letter earlier addressed to the minister by the chairman was full of inaccuracies, saying members were not allowed to know the contents until they requested copies at the meeting on Wednesday.
The letter read in part: “The voting conducted by the senate today did not meet the requirements of election norms in the University of Ibadan. For example, there was no call for fresh nominations, there was no opportunity for campaign, and there was no display of voters’ list (knowing fully well that senate composition has changed between the time of the last election and now, all due to the desperate rush to conclude the process). Only previous candidates for the election were contacted in less than 24 hours to the election and at least, six out of the nine candidates complained about the short notice and declined to participate. The voting process was guarded by state security operatives after it was disrupted at some point today.”
They further told the minister that the chairman “rebuffed all appeals made in the space of about five hours to let the council follow due process and the directives of your good self.”
But chairman of the council told PREMIUM TIMES that the matter is being looked into and that a meeting has been fixed for Monday, November 30, to take a definite position on it.
Waklek said he would not want to comment further on the matter until after Monday when the governing council would have taken its decision.
“The allegations are not true. But you know when people are not happy with something they can say anything. The issue has been such that I wouldn’t want to talk to the press now. If you wouldn’t mind, you would have to call back.
“We are holding a meeting on Monday. So we can still talk after then,” Waklek said.