In less than a few months that the University of Ibadan through the Registrar announced the vacancy for the post of Vice Chancellor of the institution, people have continued to express their views who becomes the new Vice Chancellor on December 1, 2020. In a series of articles, our analyst has highlighted academic contributions of some of the contenders. Our analyst has also pinpointed the reasons the University must be led by a strategic thinker not only planner.
Following our analyst’s pieces, Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe picked interest in some of the insights from the pieces and wrote two articles that focus on Ibadan’s demand for the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor from the City. In the current piece, our analyst examines people’s reactions to his [Professor Ekekwe] articles with the intent of bringing out emerging emotions and sentiments. Our data indicate that the reactions of the first 21 people generated a total of 778 emotional index, covering anger, fear, sadness and joy about the City’s demand.
Over 45% of the emotional index were expressed within the sadness category, signifying the sampled professionals’ unhappiness about the demand. Despite this, over 22% of the total emotional index shows that some of the professionals are happy about the demand. From the two schools of emotion, it is clear that those in the sadness category did not see the reason why the City is indigenizing the appointment considering the fact that the institution is owned by the Federal Government.
This school also wants the leaders and elders of the City to respect Federal Character clause, which places nationalism above regionalism or ethnicity in selection. Beyond this, the school also believes that the City needs to promote abilities and capabilities of their sons and daughters who are in the race than emphasizing indigenization. “It is wrong in an academic environment. We are talking about citadel of learning here. Meritocracy should replace mediocrity here,” a professional stressed.
“The Ibadan indigenes appealed, which is not a crime or abomination anyway, people are allowed to ask for something, even when they know they can’t get it; let alone when there’s even a prospect of getting it. The problem is Nigeria, because it never explained anything to the host communities of federal properties or institutions, so you continue to see this kind of thing across the land,” Francis Oguaju, one of the professionals said.
Another professional points out that “since admission processes focus a lot on catchment areas, leadership will follow suit. And next will be recruitment. Left for me, the only positions that should be left solely for indigenes should be junior level officers like cleaners and the rest. But I know that has been the usual practice.”
“Tribalism, ethnicity and religion that have been the bane of this country. Until we desist from them, we will find ourselves moving backward with speed while other Nations prosper. I wonder what we see in mediocrity that we celebrate it with open arms. The communities that are agitating for their own person to head some government institutions ended up worse off (i.e. NDDC), Why can’t we ask a Nation/People think and act right by appointing individuals to the right positions based on Merits and track records,” another professional pointed out.