No fewer than eight of the 16 candidates for the Vice-Chancellorship seat at the University of Ibadan (UI) have withdrawn their participation in Monday’s town hall meeting.
One of the organisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told journalists on Sunday in Ibadan that eight of the contestants had withdrawn their participation in the meeting.
The meeting tagged ‘The Voice of the Next UI VC, Who is Next?’ was organised by the UI community forum.
The forum offered a platform for staff, students, and other members of the university community to meet the candidates and ask them questions.
According to the source, many of the candidates had written to excuse themselves from attending the meeting for various reasons.
Among the candidates that withdrew from the meeting were Babatunde Salako, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, Clement Olaniran, Olusegun Ademowo, Temitope Alonge, and Emiola Olapade-Olaopa.
Others are the current acting VC Babatunde Ekanola, who may not attend due to an official engagement outside Ibadan, and Ebenezer Farombi, who had failed to send his details to the organisers.
Mr Ekanola was appointed acting VC in November 2020, by the Senate, for six months due to the crisis that trailed the succession plan of the former Vice-Chancellor, Idowu Olayinka.
Mr Ekanola’s tenure was extended in June 2021 for another final six months due to the failure of the last council to appoint a substantive vice-chancellor for the university.
The process had commenced afresh after a decision was reached at a meeting of the university council, presided over by its new chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun.
Some of the reasons adduced by the candidates included advising the new council led by Mr Oyegun to avoid the mistakes of the past as some of the issues raised then were still not addressed.
In a previous petition, one contestant alleged that a senator had sent in an SMS congratulating an “anointed” VC candidate in an ongoing selection process.
The petitioner had described the action as premeditated, urging the new council to guard against it.
However, the UI council has indicated its determination to produce a substantive vice-chancellor by October 14, according to its revised timetable. The screening to select six out of the 16 contestants will hold on October 13 after the election of October 12.
The council will make the final selection of the six, interview them and ratify the appointment of a new vice-chancellor on October 14.
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