I wrote a few days ago, noting that the indigenization of key positions in federal universities in Nigeria is the new order. Yes, being a Yoruba man is not enough in UI; it has to be an Ibadan man. Being an Igbo man does not cut it in UNN, he must be an Nsukka man. And being an Hausa Fulani cannot qualify unless the man is from Zaria for ABU. Too bad that I am using “man” because yes, in nearly 99% of these races, our female professors are overly marginalized.
The University of Ibadan Vice Chancellorship race comes to Tekedia as one of the professors drops a comment, after Mutiu Iyanda has reviewed his top contenders. But looking at the players, you will weep for Nigeria: federal university VC selection is now a tribal matter. So, UI will certainly have a professor from Southwest to lead it. That may even be better as a few years ago, the Nsukka community insisted that UNN’s VC must come from the community. Why not…when best graduating students are refused the usual graduate teaching assistantship jobs purely based on their tribes. Nigeria used to be built on excellence and merit but now we are all local tribal elements. Give us two more decades, local vernacular would be the key test; Nsukka Igbo for UNN, Zaria Hausa for ABU and Ibadan Yoruba for UI.
Moving forward, the news right now is that Ibadan has gone Nsukka: “Indigenes of Ibadan in Oyo state have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint one of the four of them vying for the position of Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan. They also want an indigene appointed the next Chief Medical Director of the University Teaching Hospital, (UCH) Ibadan.” The Nsukka community played exactly the same playbook a few years ago.
Indigenes of Ibadan in Oyo state have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint one of the four of them vying for the position of Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan.
They also want an indigene appointed the next Chief Medical Director of the University Teaching Hospital, (UCH) Ibadan.
The indigenes under the auspices of Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) made the demands on Sunday at a press conference in Ibadan. They said they had been marginalised in past appointments to the position. CCII is the apex socio-cultural group in Ibadan.
A new vice chancellor is due to take office on December 1 when the tenure of the incumbent, Abel Olayinka, runs out.
Speaking for the CCII, its president, Adeyemi Soladoye, said it is time an Ibadan indigene also became the Chief Medical Director of UCH
Sure, there are many benefits which local communities should get from having federal properties in their domains. But making academic appointments based on indigenization is something Nigeria does not need now. Like I have noted, Nigerians are no more competing nationally these days. Rather, competition is localized which means it is harder to compete globally. Graduating top of your class does not give you the automatic graduate assistantship job if there is somebody from the favoured tribe coming second. So, magically, the dean and Head of Department (HOD) will pass their best student for somebody else purely due to tribe. Unfortunately, there is no leadership from Abuja as the politics of the tribe is reigning everywhere. But it does not need to be that way!