Ten aspirants are said to be jostling for the Vice-Chancellorship seat in the 30-year-old University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
Ahead of Monday, October 5, 2020 interview for selection of a new Vice chancellor, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the institution has warned against interference by any interested party in the matter.
This was the major resolution reached during the Executive Committee meeting of the union held at the CBN Auditorium of the campus over the weekend.
Already, the tenure of Professor Enefiok Essien, the outgoing Vice Chancellor, will expire at the end of this year.
The meeting presided over by the Chairperson of ASUU, UNIUYO branch, Dr. Happiness Uduk, was attended by some notable aspirants including Professors Gabriel Umoh, Idara Akpabio, Effiong Johnson and the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr. Aniekan Brown.
The crucial meeting, it was gathered, followed a petition by six Senate members of the institution, who alleged that Essien was plotting to manipulate the process leading to the emergence of his successor.
According to the petitioners including Professors Trenchard Ibia, Okon Ansa, Robert Dode and Michael Akpan, and copied to the Governing Council Chairman, Prof Austin Awujo and ASUU, the outgoing Vice Chancellor was alleged to have plotted to manipulate the process by assuming overriding powers to select the two Senate representatives to the new VC’s selection board.
Ibia, who spoke to journalists noted that “the decision is undemocratic and not in line with the tradition of selecting new VC’s in UNIUYO and other public Federal Universities”
He, therefore, urged the outgoing VC to halt the Monday’s interview and follow the due process for the outcome to be acceptable to all concerned.
In line with this, ASUU frowned at what it described as the unilateral decision of the VC to name the two Senate representatives into the new VC’s selection board and urged Essien, the outgoing VC to correct the anomaly in the interest of peace, unity and development in the institution.
Besides, the union resolved to set up a committee of eminent scholars to recommend amendment of the relevant section of the extant laws governing the process of appointment of VCs through its National Executive Committee (NEC) to the National Assembly as reference document for the appointment of the Universities’ Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).