By Samuel Adegoke
The Senate of the University of Ibadan (UI), on Wednesday condemned the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the institution for opposing the process of selecting a new Vice Chancellor (VC).
The selection of a new VC for the premier university has been marred by different types of crisis in the last few weeks. While some aspirants submitted petitions against the process, the unions-SSANU and NASU also opposed the process last week, rejecting two of the six candidates selected for the next round of interview.
The unions opposed the selection of Prof. Kayode Adebowale, accusing the outgoing VC, Prof. Idowu Olayinka of influencing the process in his favour. Adebowale is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) of the university.
They also opposed the candidature of a former VC of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Prof. Olusegun Mimiko, who is among the six, saying he was anti-workers during his tenure at the institution owned by Ondo State Government.
But after an emergency meeting attended by 188 members, at the institution’s International Conference Centre, the Senate threw its weight behind the procedure, stressing that it was in line with extant laws. It also posited that labour unions have no role to play in the selection of a new VC, according to the extant laws.
In a seven-point resolution of the highest decision-making body of the institution, read by a former Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose (SAN) on behalf of the VC, the Senate also pointed out that the unions did not speak for any officer of the university. It recommended that any member of staff found guilty of working against the laid down procedure governing the university should be disciplined accordingly.
The resolutions read: “The chairman of the Council has been disrespected. Senate noted that the event was unfortunate and regrettable.
“The action by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) on Wednesday 28th October, 2020 was condemned in its strongest term.
“The fact that unions do not have any role to play in the appointment of Vice-Chancellor.
“Senate affirms that the process of the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor thus far has been in line with the extant laws and it should continue and be concluded forthwith.
“Senate also affirms its confidence in the Council and the process of appointing the Vice Chancellor thus far.
“Senate should appoint some representatives to visit the Minister of Education with a copy of the resolution taken at the meeting today.
“The normal university disciplinary procedures should be instituted to deal with the erring staff forthwith. That is, immediately and without delay.
“The petitioners should be pacified – Professors Peter Olapegba and Ezekiel Ayoola. They should be pacified pending the outcome of internal disciplinary measures.
“The University of Ibadan dissociates itself from the action of the above unions, for emphasis, (SSANU and the NASU) ,and their action. They were not acting on behalf of any officer or unit of the university. Neither were their action taken in the course of their duty.”