By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Campaign for Academic Freedom and Excellence (CAFE) on Thursday advocated for an independent electoral body for the selection of a new Vice Chancellor for the nation’s Premier University, the University of Ibadan.
CAFE in a statement by its Coordinator, Ayanlola Ayanteju, pointed out that this became necessary in view of the need to have free and fair selection process with the adoption of the e-voting method.
“We appeal for an electoral body that will be actually independent to ensure that they mitigate the reoccurrence of some of the complaints and controversies that trailed the previous congregational election during which we gathered many non-academic staff were excluded from participating in the election”, it said
The group added, “the body should be insulated from any influence from the authority or any group controversies that trailed the recently concluded congregational election. We acknowledge efforts made to have a free and fair selection process with the adoption of the e-voting method”.
CAFE stressed , “however we wish to use this medium to make some suggestions which we hope will assist the electoral body saddled with the responsibility of organising the election of a new VC, especially as it has reached a critical stage with the call for the expression of interest from candidates willing to serve on the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board.”
“We will also advise ASUU to set up an election monitoring body, to be made up of respected members, as independent observers whose duty would be to ensure that no form of manipulation is allowed to taint the electoral process. This will protect the integrity and sanctity of the process, and make the outcome acceptable to all. The union should be prepared to do this to retain the nobility of the institution and in tandem with the spirit of the Motto of University of Ibadan: *Recte Sapere Fons: For knowledge and sound judgement*
CAFE maintained in the statement that ” a stitch in time, they say, saves nine”, saying ,”the university must not be plunged to another avoidable crisis of confidence which from all implications can polarise the University and divert attention from its main duties of teaching, research and community service”.
“This may take the University many years backward, and one which will affect its future rating. The current status of the University as evidenced by it’s recent rating as the best University in West Africa was made possible through the efforts of the administration, dedicated staff and the labour of our past heroes who laid the foundation of excellence which we must continue to build upon. This can only be sustained through a transparent electoral process in the premier University to elect a popularly acceptable candidate as the Vice Chancellor of the great University of Ibadan. “