As the process of selecting who succeeds Prof James Adelabu as the vice chancellor of University of Abuja heats up, investigation has revealed that interests have divided the committee set up to oversee the selection process.
The position which was advertised in January saw an unprecedented number of professors applying for the job. As at the time of filing this report, investigation showed that 123 eminent professors had so far submitted their applications.
In its effort to prune the number, the Governing Council led by elder statesman, Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia, constituted a committee headed by Prof Anthony Adegbulugbe, with the director of Academic Planning, Dr Muktar Mohammed, Mrs I. Okoli of the Computer Department and Mrs O. A. Ariba representing the Federal Ministry of Education as members of the committee.
A source who pleaded anonymity said, “The interests and cleavages in the university on who gets the plum job soon divided this committee between the two external council members, namely, Prof Adegbulugbe and Mrs Ariba on one hand, and the two internal members, Dr Muktar Mohammed and Dr Mrs Okoli on the other hand”.
The source added that the two external members signed the committee’s final report which reduced the member of applicants from 123 to 21, inclusive of the candidates recommended by the other members.
“Although, both groups used the same criteria, they are said to have applied the rule to further their interests. The University Law gives the selection Board the power to review the applications and forward the best three to the Council which will vote to elect one”. The source stated.
Against this backdrop, investigations revealed that a powerful lobby group has emerged under the tutelage of the University’s Chief Administrative Officer. This group believed to be vehemently opposed to the Vice Chancellor and anyone who might be having his backing or any link with him.
The source stated further that the group has support of the big Unions on campus, ASUU and the Senior Staff Association, SSANU, though, claiming that they still have a big problem.
“The Council Chairman is impregnable and given his high reputation, they are unable to intimidate or brow bit him. So the strategy is to blackmail him if he cannot be won over. How they achieve either of these and triumph with their objectives is the crux of the schemes and schism heightening the tension on campus”.
Meanwhile, cattle rustlers were reported to have invaded the permanent site of the university at the early hours of last week Saturday shooting sporadically which got the students awake, before carting away 30 cows and two calves belonging to Agriculture and Vet. Medicine in the University.
This was also as a student of the school took rat poison to take his own life.
Also,at the resumption of the University on Monday, the management was greeted by a group of protesting students from the Engineering Department who had protested in 2012 and were farmed out to some other Universities.
This was after they spent over one year in their new universities without any heady way, this spurred them to confront the Vice Chancellor whose failings led to their farming out. (Leadership)