The process of the appointment of a new VC for our University is on. Understandably, by its nature, tension and concerns have been generated. Here, today, rising to the responsibility of a student of Philosophy as well as an Activist, are my contribution to the ‘dialogue or conspiracy of silence’.
1. My interest: Full disclosure is imperative. I wish UI gets the best among the applicants for the progress of the system.
2. I do not belong to any caucus or interest in support of or against any of the applicants.
3. At least nine (9) of the applicants including external ones are my personal friends, many of whom had informed me of their interest and solicited my support.
4. Crisis of Confidence: Crisis of confidence trails the process from the beginning due to the overzealousness of power mongers and those who assume greater manipulative power over the rest of us.
5. Some of these elements approached the current ASUU-UI leadership to lend support to the scheme but the new leadership correctly declined. As a result, there has been attempts to undermine the Exco.
6. The structure of the Union was thereafter deployed by those interests for their selfish agenda hence creating crisis of confidence.
7. It appears that political party (ies) were created for the purpose of appointment of VC and many were recruited into the scheme.
8. The Process: There have been allegations and counter allegations on attempt/actual manipulation of the process.
9. Sadly, the image of the university has been inadvertently brought into public scrutiny and/question.
10. Way Forward: We must all be committed to the best for UI. Honesty and principled commitments must be allowed to prevail.
11. We must collectively abandon this cult of silence, UI is not a conquered territory.
12. Just as we are quick to monitor political events outside, we must monitor the rest of the process.
13. Let us set up situation room, invite people who have information on clandestine moves to compromise the process to offer information and be ready to follow up.
14. The Governing Council should be resolute and determined to protect the process and give us only the best for the position. The ambition of any individual or group must not be allowed to override the interest of the system.
Conclusion: The world is watching and waiting. Only the best is good for the Premier University of Ibadan. I plead that more people should lend their voices, it may be dangerous but history is the best judge.
PostScript: I lay no claim to greater wisdom and stake. I write from the best of intentions and the burden of a student of Philosophy.
Kola Babarinde Ph.D
Professor of Philosophy & Sociology of Education,
Department of Early Childhood and Educational Foundations,
University of Ibadan
President, Philosophers of Education Association of Nigeria, (PEAN).