Home Education UI VC Race: I Have No Candidate — Olayinka

UI VC Race: I Have No Candidate — Olayinka

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The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka has revealed that he is not supporting any of the candidates jostling to succeed him.

Olayinka, whose tenure ends in November, stated while reacting to rumours that he has an ‘anointed’ candidate to take over the helm of affairs of the institution during an interview with Guardian.

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“How would I support a candidate? Like I told you, 12 people have applied. If I support a candidate or I don’t support a candidate, it won’t amount to anything, ” he said .

Speaking further, he explained that neither religion not tribalism play any role in the election of the next Vice-Chancellor.

Explaining this, he said: ‘The advert has been out since May and it has since closed. Just last week, very early in the morning, I put a phone call to one of our very senior professors who has since retired. He was Dean of Post-graduate School from 1994 to 1998 if I remember correctly. I asked that in 1992 when he was a candidate for Deanship of his Faculty, did he just stay in his house and folded his arms and deanship was dropped on his lap? He said he went round the whole faculty selling his credentials. He finished his B. Sc here in 1969. I just want to underscore the fact that for him to become Dean of his Faculty in 1992, he had co-contestants and he lobbied.

“Then my personal experience, many years after his case, in 2002, because I served as Sub-Dean at the Post-graduate School. I also served as Sub-dean, Post-graduate, Faculty of Science. That time I was the Head of Department of Geology. Of course, people will encourage you. It is not so much about you. In fact, if I remember correctly, just at this newspaper stand, I saw one elderly Professor who as at that time was Dean of Faculty of Arts. He said: ‘my friend, are you not going to be interested in the deanship of this post-graduate school’. The vacancy had not been declared, I said, ‘sir, I’m interested’. He said okay I should count on his support. That was towards the end of January in 2002. At the Post-graduate School, vacancies could only be declared at the beginning of May. So, from February, March to April of 2002, there was no department of UI, including the College of Medicine that I didn’t visit because those who are going to vote would be the members of the Board, all the Deans of Faculties, all the Heads of Departments and all the Sub-deans, Post-graduate. That is the composition of Board of Post-Graduate School. So, there was no office that I didn’t visit, because GSM was just coming to Nigeria, even though it turned out that I was elected unopposed.

“What I’m trying to say is that people will say Olayinka has been elected unopposed. They think I just sat in my office and emerged.”

He added, “When I was a candidate five years ago, one of the arguments was that nobody from the Faculty of Science had ever been VC at that time. I told those who were supporting me not to use this argument for me, because if I’m from the Faculty of Science, but there are other Faculties that had never produced VC. That argument will not fly. Yes, College of Medicine had been Vice-Chancellor five times, Department of History, one department has produced three Vice-Chancellor of UI -Kenneth Dike, Tekena Tamuno and Omoniyi Adewoye . But the way this thing works is that the faculty that has been here five times still want more. Just like I was telling someone that all the Yoruba people who have been President or Vice-president in this country are all from Ogun State. They marginalize my people from Osun State. The current Vice-President is from Ogun State. He is eminently qualified and highly respected. General Oladipo Diya is from Ogun State, Baba Obasanjo and Chief Earnest Shonekan are from Ogun State. But nobody talks about it. It’s not important truly. When next the presidency or vice-presidency is coming to Yoruba, it may even come to Ogun State. That is the way it works.

“So, in our own case, it doesn’t matter which faculty you come from and when we write our CV, we don’t even put religion. Some people will not even know who is a Christian, Muslim or a traditional worshipper. Even though, unfortunately maybe in the last two years, some of those insinuations are coming on board. You don’t make your friends on the basis of which religion he professes. At any rate, the process is very clear, the search team was all over the country, one went to Port Harcourt and another went to Kano.

“So, all the noise may not amount to much. There is no scoring or point for which faculty you come from. That you come from faculty A or department B or your religion or that you are traditional worshipper, who cares? Those sentiments won’t count at the end of the day.”

 

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