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No Anxiety In UI, Only A Mischievous Interpretation Of UI Council’s Directives On Acting VCSHIP
The UI story credited to the credible PRECISION-NG is quite unfortunate.
What should simply be an internal matter for the UI community has again been thrown into the world in a shameless show of ineptitude and mischief – an infantile display of lack of depth and linguistic incompetence. For how long will UI continue to fight over the appointment of a VC which many young universities achieve with impressive ease? Perhaps, when those who seek to occupy the exalted office realize that the University is bigger than their (inordinate) ambition! Sadly, it is becoming clear that these gladiators and their cronies are more concerned about their desperate bid to become Vice Chancellor than actually working for the good of the University. Never mind their lip service to this.
It is indeed unfortunate that within a week of the resumption of duty of a new Council, headed by the highly-rated, and most distinguished Nigerian and elder statesman, Chief John Odie-Oyegun, who has suffered no blemish that anyone can point out, the negative elements in the UI VCship race have begun to display their notorious art of running down the Council and Senate. These are individuals who do not even attend Senate meetings, except when there are vested interests! The outlet is a graduation from the popular Oyo Insights, which perhaps has decided to follow the path of honour it was known for and, consequently, ditch the GASKIYA chief(s)!
To go straight to the point, all the issues raised in the PRECION NG publication of 15 May, 2021 are inaccurate and in several respects wrong/mischievous interpretations of the documents and discourses the report itself quotes. This is no time for long talk. Let us take the issues one after the other and provide the accurate information/reading against the subversive, illiterate-cum-mischievous contents of the PRECION NG version:
There is anxiety again brewing at the University of Ibadan, following a move to extend the tenure of the Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Adebola Ekanola by the Council.
Council has not made any move to extend the tenure of the Acting Vice Chancellor. So, this is not true.
For the avoidance of doubt and to show the illiteracy of the writers’ interpretation and the mischief that sired the text, referring strictly and only to the text published by PRECISION NG, let us look at the highlights below which shows the actual actions conducted in the Council’s text and the evidence/support from the release to Senate as contained in the text presented by PRECISION NG:
Councils’ Official Action 1: Awareness of the expiration of the tenure of the Acting VC
Textual Evidence/support from Council’s Release as quoted by Precision NG: “Topic/title: Council Decision to Senate: The Expiration of the Six Month Appointment of the Acting Vice Chancellor (01 December – 31 May, 2021)”
Councils’ Official Action 2: Contextualising the appointment of the Ag VC
Textual Evidence/support from Council’s Release as quoted by Precision NG: “Following the expiration of the tenure of Prof. I. A. Olayinka as Vice
Chancellor on 30 November, 2020, the Governing Council on the recommendation of Senate of the University appointed Prof. A. B. Ekanola as Acting Vice Chancellor for a period of six (6) months, effective 01 December, 2020”.
Councils’ Official Action 3: Demonstrating familiarity with the rule governing the tenure of the Ag VC
Textual Evidence/support from Council’s Release as quoted by Precision NG: “In accordance with the extant law stipulated in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act of 2003, Section 5, Sub-section (14) which states that “An Acting Vice Chancellor in all circumstances, shall not be in office for more than 6 months”, the attention of Council was drawn to the fact that the 6 months’ appointment of Prof. A. B. Ekanola as Acting Vice Chancellor would expire on Monday, 31 May, 2021”.
Councils’ Official Action 4: Demonstrating familiarity with the process of the appointment of a new VC
Textual Evidence/support from Council’s Release as quoted by Precision NG: “However, Council noted that the process of appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor could not be concluded due to the dissolution of the Governing Council”.
Councils’ Official Action 5: Demonstrating sensitivity to administrative law and order in UI – avoiding administrative vacuum, showing high administrative dexterity
Textual Evidence/support from Council’s Release as quoted by Precision NG: “Given the circumstance, a vacuum cannot be created in the office of the Vice Chancellor and CEO of the University in that if the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor cannot be concluded before 31 May, 2021, the position of the Ag. Vice Chancellor shall lapse”
Councils’ Official Action 6: Seeking Senate’s intervention in the vacuum to occur should the tenure of Ag VC lapse
Textual Evidence/support from Council’s Release as quoted by Precision NG: “Therefore, Council advised that Senate should consider the above matter and make its recommendations to Council”
Councils’ Official Action 7: Authorising Senate to discuss the matter and make recommendations
Textual Evidence/support from Council’s Release as quoted by Precision NG:
“Senate is hereby requested to consider”
From the highlights above, where has it been stated that Council recommended the extension of the tenure of the Acting VC? But, let us take another look at it: If Council even did or does (not evident in the text quoted by PRECISION NG), is it not logical that Council does this in the interest of ease of transition? If the process of appointing another VC lasts only two months, for example, of what use is the choice of another Acting VC? There might be a lot of wisdom in the extension of the incumbent Acting VC against whom we are not aware of any infractions even from the detractors of the UI system!
PRECISION NG: A meeting is allegedly scheduled for Monday, May 17, 2021 to deliberate on the matter.
CORRECT SITUATION: Which meeting? PRECISION NG is not even informed! Logically, if Council wants to extend the tenure of the Ag VC, it should be the Council meeting in reference. And that is a complete lie. No Council meeting is holding on Monday, 17 May, 2021. Lies!
C. PRECISION NG: But the law regarding the tenure of principal officers in Nigerian Universities stated otherwise. A copy of the Universities Amendment Act 2013, obtained by The Precision NG frowned at the extension of the tenure of an Acting VC, which had been statutorily put at 6 months. Section 5, subsection 14 of the act read: “An acting Vice-Chancellor in all circumstances shall not be in office for more than 6 months”.
CORRECT SITUATION: Yes, one truth miscontextualised is said here. A strictly miscontextualised truth! That an Acting VC cannot be in the office for more than six months does not preclude a reappointment (or whatever it might be called) which might mutually and officially/conventionally be understood to be probationary. Would you terminate/or do we terminate the probationary appointment of a worker once the stated period elapses if he/she is not charged with any infractions?
The situation in a sister Federal University, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, not too long ago, comes in handy. AnActing VC, Prof Elujoba, was in office for 11 months! Even in the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Banjo was in the acting capacity as VC for about 12 months. At the Federal University of Abeokuta, Abeaokuta, Prof Adamson served as Acting VC for nine months. The University of Porthacourt currently has an Acting.VC, Prof. Okodudu, who is on a second term of six months.
D. PRECISION NG “A meeting is being planned for Monday to consider elongation of tenure which is clearly against the law (See document below).
CORRECT SITUATION: The expression is a dubious doublespeak. The actual meeting is a meeting of Senate, not of Council. The story is only giving the guise of Senate to Council to delegitimise the legitimate action of Council. Council can only ask Senate, in whose constituency the decision falls, to recommend its pleasure for the consideration of Council. And as stated in the highlights above and in PRECISION NG’s text below, Council is not forcing or even making any recommendation to Senate in respect of extension or elongation of tenure. It merely called on Senate to consider and advise Council on the next action/step to take.
It must also be noted that those who are behind this atrocious externalization of Council and Senate matters that should be handled with the highest level of responsibility do not seem to respect the sanctity of the University of Ibadan; or how else do we interpret the sacrilegious publishing of scanned copies of Council and Senate papers on social media platforms? The University should investigate this and those found culpable should be properly sanctioned for this breach of confidentiality. Certainly, such individuals are not fit to be members of the most respected Senate and Council of the premier university, not to talk of occupying the office of Vice Chancellor.
E. PRECISION NG “Law allows appointment by the senate of another qualified person as acting VC and NOT extension of tenure of incumbent.
CORRECT SITUATION: Which law is this? Earlier, PRECISION NG had quoted sections of the UI Act that supports its claim and the release. Which law is this? Again, vagueness and blank reference which are starkly indexical of sordid mendacity are in display here. Why the desperation to tell lies and mislead not only the UI community, but also its Council, the Nigerian public and the international community.
F. PRECISION NG “Already, lobbying for and against had begun in UI ahead of the Council meeting on Monday,” the source too is The Precision NG.
CORRECT SITUATION: No Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, 17 May, 2021; only Senate meeting. This simply confirms that the entire story by PRECISION NG is an illiterate and mischievous lie, and should be ignored by everyone – in fact, anyone who knows or does not know that the story is a poor extension of the earlier GASKIYA editions. The biro hand on the release below on the charges of impropriety is glaringly indicative of that fact. GASKIYA was/is the anti-truth group, manned by a professorial chief against the success of the UI VCship a few months ago! Of course, no lobbying is taking place in UI currently. It is only a figment of GASKIYA’s own imagination.
G. PRECISION NG The source also alleged that the University is in a big financial mess (debts) which is being investigated secretly by the anti-graft agencies due to maladministration of the previous administration. (See document below).
CORRECT SITUATION: Above is a confidential document that was presented to Council. Bringing this to the attention of the Nigerian public is a big slap in the face of the Council of the University of Ibadan. It is also an indication that a kind of lawlessness is reigning in the university which allows anyone to publish anything, no matter how sacred, about the university. Why not allow the “secret” anti-graft agencies to complete its task if this is not another GASKIYA lie! And why not trust the FG to do justice to the issues through its visitation panel?
Finally, it is not clear what the authors of this story in the guise of PRECISION NG want to achieve by discrediting the NEW COUNCIL:
To have the Council removed and have their own Council constituted?
To intimidate the new Council so it makes mistakes in the course of appointing a new VC?
Add to the discredited image of UI and make it too worthless to be reckoned with in the global circle?
Authored: THE UI WE-MUST-GET –IT –RIGHT-THIS –TIME Group