By Ayuba Shagaya
The search for a new Vice Chancellor for the University of Jos, Plateau State, is currently generating controversy. A perceived breach of procedure is already weakening the credibility of the process.
Current Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sebastian Maimako’s five year tenure has ended. A search for a replacement has begun, but with suspicions.
A source familiar with the system told our Correspondent that there has yet to be a substantive replacement for the University’s Governing Council Chairman, Prince Tony Momoh, who passed on in February. The University Act stipulates that the screening of a new Vice Chancellor should be done by the Chairman of the council.
The source who spoke on the condition of annonimity said, “Section 4(2), (3), & (4) of the University Act states that where vacancy occurs in the post of a Vice Chancellor, the Governing Council shall, advertise the vacancy in a reputable journal or widely read newspaper in Nigeria specifying the qualities of the who may apply for the post, the terms and conditions of service application to the post, and thereafter draw up a a shortlist of suitable candidates for the post for consideration.
“The council shall then constitute a search team consisting of a member of the council who is not a member of the senate as chairman. The council shall constitute two members of the senate who are not members council, one of whom shall be a professor; two members of the congregation who are not members of councils, one of whom shall be a professor. Again, the council shall identify and nominate for consideration suitable persons who are not likely to apply for the post of their own volition.”
This and many more procedures have yet to be observed in the selection process which is expected to happen soon, said the source. If there is no intervention to correct the abnormality, the source fears “big crises” in the institution, which might disrupt academic activities.
The source called for urgent intervention from the appropriate authorities as well as investigation into the matter in order to avert the looming crises, adding that many interest groups and individuals have vowed not to allow any abnormality in the selection of a candidate for the position.
A total of 18 candidates are jostling for the Vice Chancellor position from across several universities in the country.