Three candidates scale UniAbuja VC race hurdle

***new appointment may come Thursday

Three candidates including a woman have scaled the penultimate hurdle in the race to emerge as the new vice chancellor of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja).

Following extensive screening over three days, Professors Mabel Evwierhoma, E.J. Nwane, and O.P. Ajaegbuna were shortlisted from the original list of 14 candidates.

University sources revealed to the TribuneOnline that one candidate from the University of Ilorin, who was seen as “the candidate of the establishment” was unbraided by the institution’s governing council for bad behaviour and disqualified.

The three remaining candidates will now face the governing council Thursday for the chance to be picked as the University’s new helmsman.

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

Professor Evwierhoma of the Theatre Arts Department and a well known feminist and lawyer is bidding to be the first female Vice-Chancellor of the school in 15 years after Prof. Laraba Abdullahi, who was the Vice-Chancellor from 1999 to 2004.

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There had been reports of tension at the institution over alleged moves to appoint an outsider as its new vice chancellor.

Rather than choose from among the 140 professors in the school, the governing council was accused of drawing up of a shortlist of 14 persons with 10 coming from outside UniAbuja.

Thirty-five candidates were said to have applied for the job from within UniAbuja but only four made the shortlist.

Some lecturers were reported to be angry as they alleged an attempt to impose a vice chancellor that would do the bidding of vested interests.

The university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had also kicked against the move to include candidates from outside the school.

It was learned that in a communiqué the union sent to the Governing Council, it 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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