A group, known as the Gaskia Group has called for fairness in the process of determining the emergence of the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
The group, in a statement said “An ugly trend is beginning to emerge in the on-going process of the selection of a new vice-chancellor in the University of Ibadan. In theory, the trend is that of ‘ordination’ and ‘predestination’: a situation in which a particular candidate has already been ordained and predestined to occupy the office by some cabals in the University even before the commencement of the race.
“Thus, the selection process is, therefore, compromised and skewed in favour of the candidate. This is rather unfortunate, as it not only affects the integrity of the process, but also robs the other contestants of their right to fairness and level playing ground. It also has the capacity to backfire as well as put the university system into jeopardy if allowed to stand. Besides, it makes nonsense of the whole process of the constitution of a search team, since a candidate is ab initiobeing positioned for the office. This is the act of working from answer to question which in every sense is an anomaly, unacademic, anti-scholarship and should, therefore, be condemned and discountenanced.
“In practice, the chains of communication flying around social media platforms within the campus are indicative of the foregoing premonition. For instance, a post on Arts Committee of Friends WhatsApp platform made on 8 September 2020 by Professor Francis Offor, a well-known coordinator of the campaign team of the sitting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebowale, reads as follows:
“As we are all aware, the process for the election of Senate Representatives to the Selection Board for the Appointment of the Vice-Chancellor has commenced. Having carefully examined all the candidates for this election, it is our enlightened position that the following will serve the best interest of the University:
1. Prof. Ezekiel Olusola Ayola of the Department of Mathematics and
2. Prof. Peter Olamakinde Olapegba of the Department of Psychology.
“The detailed Bio-data are here uploaded for our perusal. Please, let us give them our maximum support and votes. Kindly encourage others to also support them with their votes. Thank you and God bless.
“The above message speaks volume of the intention of the two candidates for the Senate Representatives on theJoint Council and Senate Selection Board for the Appointment of Vice Chancellor (2020-2025)mentioned in the post, namely Professors Ayoola and Olapegba. It shows that they are already biased in favour of a contestant, in whose interest they will function if elected into the selection board.
“This assumed intention of Professors Ayoola and Olapegba becomes more worrisome considering that their names are being associated with a particular Vice-Chancellorship contestant and with several of his campaign teams. To be sure, in a similar post on the faculty of Science platform (the faculty of Professor Adebowale, the current DVC Admin and a Vice -Chancellorship contestant), the current Dean of Science, Prof. Ayodele noted as follows:
Good morning. As promised, our two candidates for selection committee are Prof Peter Olamakinde Olapegba & Prof Ezekiel Ayoola. Pls campaign for them separately. And never link them formally with Prof Adebowale. Election is on 21 sept. Thanks. Prof. Ayodele
“What this means is that there is a concerted effort to get Professors Ayoola and Olapegba into the Selection Board so that they will ensure the emergence of Professor Adebowale as the next Vice-Chancellor. This does not only smack of irregularity, but is an erosion of fairness in the selection process.
Realizing the violence these posts have done on their candidacy to the Selection Board, Professors Ayoola and Oloapegba quickly issued a disclaimer. In an email dated 9 September 2020, Professor Olapegba wrote as follows:
It has come to my notice that some mischief makers are circulating a message linking me with one of the candidates contesting to be Vice Chancellor. THIS DID NOT EMANATE FROM ME. IT IS THE HANDIWORK OF MISCHIEF MAKERS, AND I ALREADY KNOW THE SOURCE. It is unfortunate that academics will descend to this level of desperation. For the benefit of doubt, I am prepared to serve on the Selection Board with objectivity & fairness to all. Once again, I solicit your support and vote. Thank you.
“Similarly, in an email dated 9 September 2020, Professor Ayoola wrote as follows:
Distinguished Colleagues and Members of Senate, I have just received with the great shock, a mischievous post claiming that my aspiration for election as a Senate Rep on the Selection board is being made on behalf of one VC aspirant. This is very far from the truth. Neither am I in alliance with any other candidate contesting to be a Senate Representative on the Selection Board. My loyalty and allegiances are to the University of Ibadan through the University Senate. Only the best among the aspirants is good enough for our University. Please ignore the mischievous post. I am seeking to represent Senate without any underlying motive. I believe each VC aspirant must be given a level playing ground. It is obvious that the mischief makers are ignorant of the working of the Selection Board. The template of scoring for each applicant is well known to me as a former member of Council. I promise that objectivity and open mindedness will be used to access each candidate if I have the opportunity to serve once more on this occasion. Thank you.
“The issuance of a disclaimer is the simplest thing the candidates could do but it does not absolve them of the guilt of bias and prejudice. The most honourable thing to do is for Professors Ayoola and Olapegba to pull out of the contest for the Senate Representatives on theJoint Council and Senate Selection Board for the Appointment of Vice Chancellor (2020-2025)since they have been publicly associated with a candidate for the Vice Chancellorship position, because they have become tainted and can never be fair or objective if they win.
Again, if we interrogate the disclaimer by Prof. Ayoola, it is clear that he is poised for a predetermined outcome of the selection by indicating that there is a ‘template of scoring each applicant.’ How can there be a template for a Selection Board that is yet to be constituted?
“It is apt now for all stakeholders in the project of taking this great University to a higher level where it can compete favourably globally to rise and condemn this obnoxious trend. We call on the University Council, the Federal Government and the general public to take technical note of this dangerous politics that may plunge the university into an unprecedented calamity.
“Long Live the University of Ibadan!”