Crisis has erupted in Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Awka, leading to a stalemate in the process of appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for the Federal University.
The outgoing Vice Chancellor, Professor Boniface Egboka is expected to proceed on terminal leave any moment from now, but the process of appointing his successor which started in December last year when the university invited applications for the post of Vice Chancellor, has been deadlocked.
As at the time of filing this report on Monday, the two top contenders for the post are former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Joe Aheneku and incumbent Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) Professor Greg Nwakobi.
There was confusion in UNIZIK when contrary to a local radio announcement in Awka that Prof. Nwakobi has been appointed as the Vice Chancellor, a member of the Governing Council, Dr Godson Okafor, issued a statement, informing the university community of the crisis in the Council and stalemate in the process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor.
Trouble started when council members convened for the announcement of the new Vice Chancellor, but the meeting could not proceed as the Chairman and Pro-Chancellor, Air Vice Marshall Lary Koinyan (rtd) who headed the Selection Board, told other members that he received a call inviting him to Abuja and suddenly left the meeting.
But, in his statement, Okafor, who represents the university community in the Council, blamed Koinyan for the stalemate.
He explained that it ended in stalemate for the simple reason that the process and guidelines which the general council adopted and approved for use was disregarded and dumped by Koinyan and Selection Committee without Council approval.
He said the Chairman of the Council inaugurated the Shortlist Committee which recommended nine candidates for interview, based on the Template and Guidelines from the Federal Ministry of Education and the Council accepted the report of the Committee headed by Alhaji Buhari Bala, but surprisingly and contrary to the Council approval, Koinyan jettisoned the report and brought in strange criteria unknown to the Council and different from the Template it adopted.
“Even at that, the final report of the Selection Board which the Chairman of the Council is heading was supposed to be submitted to the Council for deliberation before a new Vice Chancellor is appointed from the three recommended names. In the course of the kangaroo work of the Selection Board, they intentionally leaked information that one candidate has emerged. The leak was intended to give the impression that a particular candidate has won when in fact the Selection Board has not submitted its report to Council” he said.
Okafor observed quite regrettably that Koinyan was biased and heavily compromised for selfish and for whatever motive, wondering how somebody who placed fifth during shortlisting with 55.5 points, suddenly came out first in the Selection board interview using the same criteria.
He made it clear that until the Council reconvenes, the process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor would remain deadlocked until such a time a new transparent process of appointing a Vice Chancellor is put in place.
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