UI VC race: Senate calls for sanction of SSANU, NASU members for disrupting council meeting

Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The Senate of the University of Ibadan on Wednesday rose from an emergency meeting and directed the management of the institution to sanction some members of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) for disrupting the process of appointing new vice chancellor for the university.

The meeting, which was held at the International Conference Centre of the institution, was chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Prof Adebola Eekanola, on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Idowu Olayinka, who was not at the meeting.

Members of SSANU and NASU had on Wednesday, October 28, disrupted a meeting of the governing council of the university, chaired by Dr Joshua Waklek, and held the council members hostage and insisted that they would not leave the meeting venue if they did not suspend the process of appointing a new Vice-Chancellor. The council was forced to suspend the meeting.

The protesters alleged the council was dancing to the music of the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Olayinka, who allegedly wants to install Prof Kayode Adebowale, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration. The two unions also advocated the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor, that would initiate a fresh process of appointing a substantive Vice-Chancellor.

But the institution’s senate at the meeting held on Wednesday, which was attended by 188 persons among members of the Senate, reviewed the whole process of appointing new Vice-Chancellor and the protest staged by SSANU and NASU.

The resolutions of the council were read by former Dean, Faculty of Law, UI, and council member, Prof Oluyemisi Bamgbose (SAN), on behalf of the Senate. She was flanked by Prof. Oluwatoyin Akintola, Dean Faculty of Law; Prof. Adams Onuka, from Institute of Education; and Prof. Oyebamiji Babalola, Provost, Postgraduate College.

The Senate resolved that the Chairman of the Council, Dr Waklek, “has been disrespected. Senate noted that the event was unfortunate and regrettable. The action by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) on Wednesday 28th October 2020 was condemned in its strongest term.”

The Senate noted that unions “do not have any role to play in the appointment of Vice-Chancellor,” and affirmed that “the process of the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor thus far has been in line with the extant laws and it should continue and be concluded forthwith.

“Senate also affirms its confidence in the Council and the process of appointing the Vice-Chancellor thus far. Senate should appoint some representatives to visit the Minister of Education with a copy of the resolution taken at the meeting today (Wednesday).

“The normal university disciplinary procedures should be instituted to deal with the erring staff forthwith. That is, immediately and without delay.

“The petitioners should be pacified – Professors Peter Olapegba and Ezekiel Ayoola. They should be pacified pending the outcome of internal disciplinary measures.

“The University of Ibadan dissociates itself from the action of the above unions, for emphasis, (SSANU) and the (NASU), and their action. They were not acting on behalf of any officer or unit of the university. Neither were their actions taken in the course of their duty. Senate affirms its confidence in the process.”