Prof Esimone, not interested in imposing successor ~ UNIZIK

By Okey Maduforo

The authorities of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka has dismissed as false and unfounded the allegations that the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the Institution Prof Charles Okechekwu Esimone is trying to defy President Ahmed Bola Tinubu by attempting to impose his candidate as the next Vice Chancellor of the University.

According to the release signed by the Special Adviser to the Vice Chancellor on Public Relations and Special Duties Dr Emmanuel Ojukwu, Professor Esimone has no preferred candidate for his replacement and has no such powers in the first place to chose or impose a successor on the University.

“The five-year tenure of the incumbent Vice Chancellor Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS will end on June 4, 2024. Prof Esimone has performed exceedingly well considering the challenges facing the universities today. Ordinarily the Governing Council of the University is expected to have initiated the process of replacing or appointing a new Vice Chancellor. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has not appointed members of the Governing Council to carry out this onerous task”

“As an outgoing Vice Chancellor Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS has no power under the law of the University to impose anyone as Acting Vice Chancellor”

“The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Education is expected to give a directive on who Prof Esimone will handover to. Therefore, it is erroneous for anyone to think that Prof Esimone will impose someone on the leadership of the University as Acting Vice Chancellor in defiance of the Federal Government”

“It is probably a figment of imagination in the heads of these alarmists as no such thing exists. In the absence of a Governing Council, the University is waiting for the Federal Government to direct on what should be done based on the University enabling laws”

“In the appointment of Heads of Departments, it is the prerogative of the Vice Chancellor to appoint Heads for the various academic departments. What is considered mostly is ability to perform and then the integrity and credibility of the persons to be appointed. In the current appointment of Heads of Departments, it is a mixture of Professors, Associate Professors, Senior Lecturers etc”

“All appointments in the University are based on merit and capacity to perform. Those who are not appointed in the recent exercise should be patient since the tenure of HODs is only two years. Next appointment could favour them. Insinuating that these appointees would be used to cast a ‘kangaroo vote’ to elect the Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof J.I. Ikechebelu as Acting Vice Chancellor is day dreaming. An Acting Vice Chancellor holds a brief stay until a substantive Vice Chancellor is appointed by the Governing Council”

“This attempt to heat up the University environment by desperate and faceless petitioners is an age long tradition in the university. These extremely ambitious persons are usually recycling their energy in every transition of the university to foment fruitless crisis for which they usually lose out woefully”

“The faceless writers unashamedly alluded to the sponsorship of politicians to bankroll the expenses of the so-called election in the university. Money has never been a factor in the functioning of the University electoral processes. The University conducts its affairs based on the capacity of the persons to be elected and the ability to perform creditably”

*Therefore, accusing the University administration of involving politicians to bankroll any election process in the University is false and baseless”

“It is not the fault of the university leadership that a Governing Council has not been appointed. The process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor will commence as soon as a new Governing Council is put in place. But in the meantime, the right thing is for all who are interested in contesting for the position of Vice Chancellor of the university to exercise patience as the process is likely to commence soon. However, while waiting these eager contestants should be rest assured that there will be a level playing ground for all participants in the process”

“Finally, the university leadership appeals to all staff and students to keep calm and wait on the decision of the Federal Government on who should take over from the incumbent Vice Chancellor Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS” he said

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