The emergence of a new Vice-Chancellor at the University of Uyo has generated controversy within the university community.
Nyaudo Ndaeyo, a professor of Farming Systems was announced as the next Vice-Chancellor of the university after a special meeting of the Governing Council on Tuesday, October 6.
However, his emergence has been faulted by many including the Chairman, Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor, Mr Austin Awujo, who has accused the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Mr Enefiok Essien SAN, of manipulating the selection process.
According to Mr Awujo, three professors made the final round of selection and interview panel, from the ten candidates who were cleared to contest. They are Edet Udo, Nyaudo Ndaeyo and Gabriel Umoh.
“After the interview, Prof. Edet Udo of the Department of Agriculture Economics scored a total of 90 per cent; Prof. Nyaudo Ndaeyo, the current Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), polled 86 per cent while Prof. Gabriel Umoh, also of the Department of Agriculture Economics, scored 70 per cent,” he said.
Mr Awujo explained that Mr Edet Udo emerged on top in the interview, but was shocked that the outcome was rejected by the management of the institution led by the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Mr Enefiok Essien SAN.
Following the rejection of the outcome of the official interview by Mr Essien and his supporters, the Pro-chancellor said he was compelled to notify the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, of the developments.
“When I put a call through that I was under pressure to announce the second person, Prof. Ndaeyo, as the winner, the NUC Executive Secretary instructed that a meeting of the Council should be immediately convened to announce the right person, Prof. Edet, who was objectively selected on merit, having scored the highest in the interview,” he said.
“Surprisingly, the outgoing VC and others who are in support of his candidate, Prof. Ndaeyo, shunned the Council meeting, which was to publicly announce and declare Prof. Edet, as the new UNIUYO VC.”
Narrating how Mr Ndaeyo emerged as Vice-Chancellor, Mr Awujo noted that there was a voting session, from which Mr Ndaeyo polled nine votes, Mr Edet had four, while Mr Umoh scored no votes.
He stressed that this process was alien to the extant laws governing the institution.
Ndaeyo’s Emergence Followed Due Process, University Management Reacts
Meanwhile, the management of the University of Uyo has said that the process which led to the emergence of Mr Nyaudo Ndaeyo as the next Vice-Chancellor of the institution, followed due process.
The Vice-Chancellor, Mr Enefiok Essien SAN, made this known during a press conference at the Old Senate Chamber of the university.
Mr Essien, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Mrs Enoidem Usoro, noted that Mr Ndaeyo was selected as Vice-Chancellor because he was the most experienced of the candidates.
“…having served as the Head of Department, Vice Dean, Faculty of Agriculture; Dean, Faculty of Agriculture; Chairman Committee of Deans and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.”
SSANU Sues For Peace
Meanwhile, the University of Uyo Branch of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), has urged members of the University community who are aggrieved over the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor, to embrace peace in order to engender the progress of the institution.
In a statement on Sunday, the chairperson of SSANU UNIUYO chapter, Mrs Anietie Atai, described any attempts to upturn the announcement of Mr Nyaudo Ndaeyo as Vice-Chancellor, as an invitation to crisis and was therefore unacceptable.
“Upturning or doing anything contrary to the verdict is inviting rancour and trouble to the system and is totally unacceptable.
“We hope that the chairman of the council in his wisdom would not allow this to happen for the sake of peace in the University. We are not concerned about who gained God’s favour in the exercise or who did not. Our concern is allowing peace to reign in the University.
“We enjoin everybody to sheath his or her sword and join hands together and ensure that we sustain the peace that has been in the University for some years now,” she said.
The newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, Mr Ndaeyo is scheduled to take over from the current Vice-Chancellor, Mr Enefiok Essien SAN, whose tenure is expected to elapse on December 1, 2020.
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