Tension rises in UniAbuja over moves to ‘impose’ outsider as VC

Tension is rising at the University of Abuja over alleged moves to appoint an outsider as the new vice chancellor of the institution.

The tenure of the current vice-chancellor, Professor Michael Adikwu, who was appointed in 2014, will expire on July 1, 2019.

But rather than choose from among the 140 professors in the school, the Chairman of its Governing Council, Sani Maikudi, is being fingered as behind the drawing up of a shortlist of 14 persons, 10 of who are from other universities in the country.

Some lecturers, who spoke on the issue on the condition of anonymity on Thursday, alleged that the chairman single-handedly appointed three members into the five-member selection committee so that there may be little or no opposition to his preferred candidate.

The lecturers are angry as they view this as an attempt to impose a vice chancellor that would do the chairman’s bidding.

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Thirty-five candidates were said to have applied for the job from within the university but only four, which the angry lecturers, maintained did not stand any chance of being selected, made the shortlist, thereby knocking off more viable aspirants.

“The chairman singlehandedly picked Abubakar Kyari, Dofili and Anuma as members of the five-man selection committee so that he can get a vice chancellor that will do his bidding,” a concerned lecturer told the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja.

The four candidates who were said to make the shortlist from the university are, Prof. M. Evwierhoma, Prof. E.J. Nwane, Prof. O.P. Ajaegbuna, and Prof. G.O. Egwu.

The interview of the shortlisted candidates has been scheduled for next week but the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has kicked against the move.

It was learnt in a communiqué it sent to the Governing Council, the union insisted that the new vice chancellor must emerge from among the qualified individuals in the school as it was the case in most of the recent appointments of vice-chancellors in other universities.

ASUU argued that the need to appoint an internal candidate was imperative because “he would hit the ground running” and would not need to learn the rudiments of administering UniAbuja from “hangers-on.”

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