Barring any unforseen circumstances (like tenure extension by the Visitor to the University), the five year tenure of the incumbent and 12th VC of Nigeria’s premier and foremost univeristy, the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof Idowu Olayinka shall end on 30th November, 2020.
The race for the coveted position has since commenced. Advert had been made. ‘Search’ is either ongoing or concluded. The Council should be meeting any time soon to interview and select the best for the best.
Surely all the names being thrown up as the possible and ‘lucky’ applicant are eminently qualified in their own rights. Sadly only ONE of the lot would get appointed.
A lot of extraneous shenanigans outside the advertised requirements have been raised as an ‘added qualification’ for the post. Amongst these are religion and the omo Ibadan factors.
Moslems argued that no Moslem has ever occupied the exalted position, adding that ‘it has been planned’ to ensure that the 13th VC won’t be a Moslem irrespective of his or her qualification and performance at the Interview!
Enter the omo Ibadan agitators. To them, the new VC must as of necessity be an omo Ibadan because ‘omo wa ni e je o se’. To them, in the 72 years history of UI, no Ibadan man has ever been the VC! They argued that for equity, fairness and natural justice, it’s incumbent on the Council to appoint an omo Ibadan as the next VC jare because ‘we have been a good host’ to the university! Phew!
Surprisingly, no one is advocating for a female VC for the first time in the annals of UI’s history despite the arrays of women advocacy groups in Nigeria. Fillers (right or wrong) have it that the only female applicant in the race has since withdrawn!
Or is it that UI is not ripe for a female VC yet? This can’t be true because a female Provost assumed office earlier this month at the University’s College of Medicine for the first time ever in the 40 years history of the College.
One wouldn’t know why female Professors in UI are shying away from contesting for the seat. This is unlike their colleagues at the University of Benin who had produced two VCs, Prof Grace Alele-Williams, first Nigerian female VC (1985-91) and Prof Lilian Salami (2019-), the incumbent VC. Seems there are more of Queen Idia in Benin than Efunsetan in Ibadan despite having an Idia Hall in UI!
Three things are so sure in this race to occupy the 3rd Floor of the Tekena N. Tamuno Building ; (1) UI would have a new VC on 1st December, 2020, (2) the new VC would be a man, and (3) the 13th VC would have alphabet ‘A’ in his name!
I wish all the applicants the best.