Nigeria: Interior the Disaster Rocking Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Over VC Appointment

About a of the conditions were that the applicant must restful “be preferably from a federal university,” and that mushy copies of applications must be forwarded to the email addresses of both the outgoing VC, Mr Soremekun, and the university’s registrar, Olatunbosun Odusanya.

The Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has been embroiled in controversies over the appointment of a original vice-chancellor (VC).

The outgoing VC, Kayode Soremekun, who was once appointed in 2016, is billed to exit the government center in February 2021.

And respect varied Nigerian universities including the University of Ibadan (UI), Lagos Verbalize University (LASU), among others, the need process for Mr Soremekun’s successor has not been gentle sailing.

The controversies surrounding the need process on the 9-year-outdated institution has snowballed correct into a elephantine-blown crisis, main to the intervention of the federal authorities via the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Both the university’s governing council chairman, Mohammed Yahuza, and Mr Soremekun, in separate mobile phone interviews with our reporter, confirmed that errors were made. They, on the choice hand, effectively-known that the corrupt steps had been retraced and that the processes would perhaps perhaps perhaps be accomplished within the following week.

At an intervention meeting held on the NUC administrative center on December 8, the government secretary of the regulatory agency, Abubakar Rasheed, ordered a recent delivery of the need process, warning concerned events against flouting the university’s law.

The NUC’s reputation was once hinged on a series of petitions filed by many stakeholders including exterior members of the governing council, workers unions and applicants.

Many possess accused Mr Soremekun of meddlesomeness, and an strive to foist a most in style candidate on the institution as his successor.

The allegations

On August 20, 2020, the university advertised emptiness for the reputation of vice-chancellor in a nationwide day-to-day, itemizing conditions for applicants to meet.

However, among the conditions were that the applicant must restful “be preferably from a federal university,” and that mushy copies of applications must be forwarded to the email addresses of both the outgoing VC, Mr Soremekun, and the university’s registrar, Olatunbosun Odusanya.

About a stakeholders including the university’s branch of the Academic Workers Union of Universities (ASUU) and its Akure zonal chapter kicked against the two clauses. They accused the vice-chancellor of deliberately inserting the clauses to slender the necessity to a most in style candidate and to create procure entry to to all applications.

They also accused the vice-chancellor of teleguiding the six-man joint council and senate need board. The board, which has as its chairman, the newly appointed chairman of the governing council, Mohammed Yahuza, also has as members Alkali Kolo and Abdullahi Jibrin, an exterior council member and the representative of the federal ministry of education, respectively.

The assorted board members Mojisola Oyarekua and Patrick Okolua, both professors, represent the university’s senate, whereas the university’s registrar, Odusanya, acts because the board’s secretary.

Despite the criticisms, the university went forward with the need process, and about 60 candidates were acknowledged to possess applied.

The 60 applicants were later pruned down to 9 and were billed to appear sooner than the need board on November 12 for the statutory oral interviews the assign the excellent three would perhaps perhaps perhaps be chosen for onward suggestions to the governing council.

The 9 a success candidates encompass Adimula Abiodun from University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Kwara Verbalize; FUOYE’s incumbent deputy vice-chancellor responsible of lecturers, Abayomi Fasina; Adedeji Sokefun from National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN); Samuel Lawal, Temi Ologunorisa, Waheed Adekojo, Olajide Oladele, and Tomola Obamuyi.

But whereas the applicants were on the Lagos venue of the scheduled interview on November 12, they were notified by the governing council that the interview would perhaps perhaps perhaps not proceed attributable to “technical causes.”

“On that identical day, another advertisement was once positioned in The Guardian newspaper with the criticised clauses of preferably federal universities and the directive that mushy copies must be sent to the vice-chancellor removed,” a source on the university told PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter on the mobile phone. The source doesn’t must be mentioned for concern of victimisation.

Council members recuse selves

Despite the contemporary delivery as indicated by the original advertorial, some members of the governing council restful felt heart-broken with the need process, accusing the vice-chancellor of influencing the need committee to work to the resolution.

In his response to an invitation to an “unparalleled” governing council meeting scheduled to lift on November 28, an exterior member of the council, Sabo Inuwa, notified the registrar of his device to recuse himself from the need process.

Within the response, a duplicate of which PREMIUM TIMES exclusively purchased, Mr Inuwa wrote; “With events and gadgets multiplying by the day, all making an strive to procure entry to and manipulate the need processes for a honest individual to emerge as VC of our younger university to advantage, I accept as true with torn aside and severely constrained, running in this form of carefully charged ambiance, but making an strive to dwell handsome-minded and simply.

“I, therefore, are making an strive to honourably recuse myself from participating in this and subsequent meetings that would perhaps perhaps perhaps also simply convene, for the functions of this recruitment relate; except obviously appropriate steps are taken to resolve the concern.”

Mr Inuwa listed among the expected treatments to encompass an undisclosed quiz by the vice-chancellor to the governing council chairman.

In another occasion, both Mr Inuwa and another governing council member who doubles as a member of the joint council and senate need board, Alkali Kolo, collectively wrote to the education minister, Adamu Adamu, trying for his intervention in the crisis over the VC appointment.

The letter, which is titled; “Urgent Govt Brief on VC’s Selection Processes at FUOYE,” alerted the minister of what the authors described as an impending hazard on the university.

The duo wrote; “With the ongoing effort of recruiting a original VC for FUOYE, so considerable has contributed into rubbishing the relate, for which a straightforward majority of the open air members of Council, who’re identical time members of both search and wish committees; and most of the inner members possess recused themselves, attributable to the overbearing nature and meddlesome methodology of the VC; who sees it his birthright to uncover who succeeds him.

“True now, an unlawful need committee meeting is taking reputation here in Abuja; chaired by Dr MLYahuza against a subsisting court docket articulate stopping your total relate except the VC exits the system.

“What necessitated our reaching out to you, Sir, is that after as of late’s meeting, their device is to convene a kangaroo Council meeting subsequent Saturday, the fifth of December, to function and remark a original VC.”

They added that “The threat of violent reaction is staunch,” and known as on the minister to fleet intervene.

Equally, both ASUU and varied workers’ unions in separate memos known as on the governing council to be obvious that equity and justice in the appointment process.

ASUU, namely, described the 2d advert positioned in the dailies as an afterthought, announcing it was once a deliberate strive to compromise the technique.

Their yowl ended in the NUC’s intervention which rubbished the sooner processes and ordered contemporary ones.

VC’s impact persists

Following the NUC’s intervention meeting of December 8, the governing council reconvened on the Nigeria Kept Products Study Institute, Yaba, Lagos, on December 13 to establish your total process.

In conserving with a governing council member, forward of the December 13 meeting, no member of the council had procure entry to to applicants’ applications, and that the pointers for grading them were saved secret by a few members of the need board “in connivance with the VC.”

“To our surprise, whereas marks were allocated to positions equivalent to head of division and college deans as administrative skills, protecting a reputation as deputy vice-chancellor (DVC), which ordinarily must be the close of administrative competence as is the tradition across varied universities, no earn was once dispensed it in FUOYE,” the council member, who craved anonymity, acknowledged.

Somewhat than allotting marks for the reputation of a DVC, the source acknowledged the board dispensed marks for skills in distance learning.

“We argued vigorously except a DVC reputation was once allocated 10 marks, but lets not lift the case against the case of the gap learning scenario,” the source added.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the insertion of the gap learning skills into the pointers was once targeted at boosting the earn of a particular candidate.

This newspaper also learnt that following the original advertorial positioned in the paper, extra applicants surfaced, and the list of shortlisted applicants elevated from 9 to 14.

Within the intervening time, the VC also reportedly insisted on attending the need board meeting which was once held on the identical venue on December 14, and that following a stroll-out threat from two of the members, Mr Soremekun then left the venue.

“He needed to apologise profusely on December 15 at a reconvened governing council meeting the assign the need board’s actions were reviewed. We learnt the VC also needed to jot down a letter of apology to the minister and the NUC as directed by the NUC following his power meddlesomeness after the clear directive from the federal authorities,” the source extra defined.

The vice-chancellor confirmed this to our reporter on the mobile phone, announcing as to err is human.

“CBT test for applicants illegal”

Currently, insinuations are rife on the campus that the university is planning to conduct laptop-primarily based test (CBT) for the 14 shortlisted applicants. About a of the stakeholders who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on the matter possess described the planned test as illegal and an strive to take away the earn of an unnamed most in style candidate.

“It is the identical process that was once deployed in the appointment of both the original bursar and registrar. Shall we relate, when the test for bursar was once performed, their most in style candidate scored 50 of 50 whereas the 2d-handiest result was once 28 out of 50. It was once the identical with that of the registrar. However the law establishing the university is apparent about the appointment of a VC and there is nothing respect the conduct of a CBT test in the pointers,” undoubtedly one of many candidates, who doesn’t must be quoted, told PREMIUM TIMES on the mobile phone.

In conserving with sources, the CBT test is scheduled to happen on the morning of Monday, January 4, 2021, whereas the oral interview with the need board is scheduled for the afternoon of the identical day.

Council chair, VC explain

In separate mobile phone interviews with our reporter, both the chairman of the governing council and the outgoing vice-chancellor, Muhammed Yahuza and Kayode Soremekun, confirmed that errors were committed at one stage of the need process or the assorted. They possess, on the choice hand, vowed that the connected sections of the university’s law governing the appointment of a vice-chancellor will seemingly be followed to the letter.

Talking on the allegation of meddlesomeness, Mr Soremekun acknowledged; “I mistakenly attended a meeting of the Selection Committee. When I was once reminded that I must restful not be segment of the meeting, I today withdrew. In varied phrases, I spent lower than 5 minutes on the meeting. I’m human and I’m inclined to error. And I possess since apologised. Show me the man who is error-free, and you’ve got got a liar for your fingers.”

He added that “I possess since taken myself out of the technique in consonance with the connected statutory provisions. So I construct not possess data about the alleged planned relate of CBT and the alleged involvement of the pioneer vice-chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Olugbemiro Jegede, in the CBT matter.”

On his segment, Mr Yahuza acknowledged he would not observation on the alleged conception to make relate of CBT to verify applicants. He also denied involvement in the appointment of the university’s incumbent bursar and that his council fully accomplished the technique of registrar’s appointment.

Mr Yahuza acknowledged; “I retired as a director in the federal civil provider, so it be crucial to ticket that I’m a individual of guidelines. Because the chairman of the governing council of FUOYE, I impart you that the excellent resolution would perhaps perhaps perhaps be taken in the appointment of a original VC. We realised our errors and we retraced our steps.

“So, the original processes are in compliance with the guidelines and nothing will comprise that.”

About FUOYE

Since its institution in 2011, FUOYE, which is among the many 11 universities established by the administration of ragged President Goodluck Jonathan, has been embroiled in a single crisis or the assorted.

Its area was once also a field of battle when the duo communities of Oye-Ekiti andIkole-Ekiti battled fiercely to host the institution. The style ended in the need of the two communities as host communities with Oye-Ekiti cyber web web hosting the main campus.

Moreover, at one stage or the assorted, the university has had conflicts with its workers’ unions, and the style has ended in the balkanization of ASUU on the campus.

The chairman of an ASUU faction that is recognised by the nationwide leadership of the lecturers’ union, Akinyemi Omonijo, has been on suspension since 2018. The matter has also lingered on the nationwide industrial court docket in Akure, Ondo Verbalize.

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