By Gabriel Dike, Lagos
The Federal Government has directed the Governing Council of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State, to stop the selection exercise for a new Vice Chancellor over a crisis of confidence.
The decision to stop the selection exercise for a new VC that will replace the outgoing one, Prof Kayode Soremekun, was taken after the representative of Minister of Education met with the governing council members in Abuja.
Daily Sun learnt that government decision to halt the appointment of a new VC followed over 120 petitions received from aggrieved applicants, council members and staff unions that alleged the chairman, Governing Council of FUOYE and the outgoing VC were working to appoint an anointed candidate.
In a swift reaction to the petitions, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, directed the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) to summon FUOYE governing council members for a crucial meeting on the selection crisis.
At the meeting held in the Conference Room of NUC, the government, based on the numerous petitions received about the selection, ordered the governing council to halt the appointment process.
Among those who submitted petitions include three governing council members, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Ekiti based legal practitioner, shortlisted applicants, those qualified but not shortlisted, suspended FUOYE staff and individual staff.
The university management in statement signed by the Deputy Director, Corporate Services, Mr. Adeyinka Ademuyiwa, attributed the cancellation of the selection exercise to the governing council, noting council approved temporary stoppage of all processes leading to the appointment of a new VC.
‘This is to accommodate grievances and complaints of some stakeholders in the cancelled processes where over 120 petitions had been received. A new process will commence shortly,’ the statement reads.
The crucial meeting as mandated by the minister was presided by the NUC boss but a statement by the university management explained that it was presided over by council chairman Dr Mohammed Lawan Yahuza and members were in attendance including officials of commission agreed to temporarily halt the ongoing process.
‘FUOYE governing council remains committed to credible, transparent, fair and just processes and is open to suggestions and corrections that will help deliver on this onerous assignment.
‘Both Dr Yahuza and Prof. Soremekun wish to appreciate the diligence, steadfastness, commitment and patriotism of council members, friends of FUOYE particularly NUC officials and those of the federal ministry of education for their unalloyed support in this critical moment.’
Ademuyiwa said since FUOYE is handling the processes of appointing a VC for the first time, human errors are bound to occur in what is essentially a learning process, stating ‘the good thing is that FUOYE team is ever ready to correct such errors and deliver acceptable appointment processes.’
Recalled that the selection process to pick a new VC took a new dimension as three members of the governing council opted out of the appointment exercise in protest against non compliance with laid down rules and agreed procedures.
The three council members include the representative of the Federal Ministry of Education in the governing council pulled out and alleged that the council chairman and the outgoing VC are manipulating the selection exercise to favour a candidate.