VC Race: UI ASUU Denies Involvement in Protest


Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

The University of Ibadan chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has absolved itself from the protest organised last week by members of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) in the institution over alleged planned imposition of the next vice-chancellor by the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka.

This is just as the union reaffirmed its earlier appeal to the Governing Council of the University for a level playing ground in the appointment of the next vice-chancellor in order to protect the sanctity of the autonomy of the university.

The union in a special bulletin dated October 30, 2020, signed by Prof. Ayoola Akinwole and Chris Omoregie, chairperson and secretary respectively, and made available to THISDAY yesterday, said: “Having observed that a protest was carried out on October 28, 2020, around the Senate and Council Chambers of the university by members of the NASU and SSANU in the University of Ibadan, the executive of the branch met on October 30, 2020, deliberated on the incidence and resolved as follows: ‘That members of ASUU-IJI were not part of the protest, contrary to reports in some media outlets.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the disruption of the meeting of the Governing Council of the University of Ibadan that was convened to conclude the selection of the next vice-chancellor of the university.

“We also resolved that the practice of protesters, assaulting, attempt to assault or outright molestations of members of the Academic Staff Union of the University, UI branch, shall henceforth be vehemently resisted.

“We reaffirms our earlier appeal to the Governing Council University of Ibadan that a level playing ground be given in the appointment of the next vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan in order to protect the sanctity of the university autonomy.”

Various individuals and unions in the institution have accused Prof. Olayinka of making all efforts to ensure that his anointed candidate, who is among the six finalists shortlisted, emerge as the next vice-chancellor.

It was also learnt that the protest by the workers was not unconnected from the release of the name of the six candidates who made the shortlist out of those jostling for the seat.

The protesting workers, who blocked the entry and exit routes into the institution, were chanting various Aluta songs.’

They also held placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Impose Adebowale and shut down UI for six years’; ‘We shall never work with Alatise again’, among others.

The selection board had released the names of the six candidates that made the shortlist, and include a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Femi Mimiko.

Mimiko, who is of the department of Political Science, and the VC of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), between 2010 and 2015, is the only non-staff among the six nominated from the initial 18.

Others are the current Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Kayode Adebowale; a former DVC, Abideen Aderinto; Olusegun Ademowo, Olatunde Farombi and Babatunde Salako, all of whom are professors in the institution.

By this month, a new VC will emerge and take over by December 1, 2020, when Prof. Olayinka would have completed his tenure, but the process have been put on hold as a result of the protest by members of NASU and SSANU.