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Group tasks UNN’s management on appointment of new VC

University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)

Caoalition for Quality Education Sustainability and Leadership (QESL) has urged the five-man selection committee of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) governing council to save the institution from internal crisis by ensuring that the best candidate emerges as the next vice chancellor.

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) also cautioned the committee to be wary of some candidates that have unresolved allegations of fraud against them with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“Such individuals must not be given another opportunity to access public funds until their matter at the EFCC are resolved,” it pointed out.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had reportedly called on anti-graft agencies to commence investigation of another contestant over alleged maladministration.

In a statement issued yesterday by the national coordinator, James Ezema, the coalition further noted: “Some highly-placed individuals are pressuring the committee to select a particular candidate, who is a current member of the outgoing management team.

“It is our belief that the committee is made up of eminent personalities who understand the importance of quality education at a time Nigerian universities are struggling to be numbered among the best in the world and must not allow failed leadership of the institution to deceive it into arriving at an anointed candidate.”

Citing the emergence of an Anambra State indigene as the vice chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Ezema pointed out that the outgoing VC of UNN came from the same Anambra, while the anointed candidate being put forward by the outgoing UNN management team is also from Anambra. He argued that it would be improper for two people from the same state to be VCs of UNN and UNIZIK at the same period.

“More so, it will be absurd for a member of the outgoing, but failed, management team to be named VC of the institution, if UNN must survive.

“Therefore, in line with the founding fathers’ dreams, the outgoing management team has not lived up to general expectations, and it will be detrimental to quality leadership and academic excellence to extend the tenure of the current team by choosing one of them as the VC. This will be futile and anti-progress in the university.

“It is also in the public domain that one of the 15 contestants shortlisted for the UNN job has unresolved fraud-related case with the EFCC.

“We strongly advise that the Selection Committee must look beyond patronage by some individuals within the institution by toeing the path of a complete departure from the old order and ensuring that a new blood is injected into the university system for it to be able to truly restore the dignity of man as the institution’s motto states,” the coalition stated.

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