By Cyril Mbah, Abuja
Impeccable sources at the university disclosed to Orient Daily that a good number of the applicants are professors and other senior academic staff from various educational institutions in the north; but a sizeable number of high ranking lecturers from the institution have also indicated interest.
It was gathered that the academic and non-academic staff of the university of Abuja have been lobbying the Federal Ministry of Education to pick someone from within the university community, rather than an outsider as it would take time for a completely new appointee to under-study the complicated situation on ground before settling down to work.
Those who advocate for an insider as the next vice chancellor have argued that someone, who has worked at the University of Abuja over the years, would better understand the internal politics within the university community.
It was also argued that the person would be abreast with the problems, challenges and needs of the university as well as the lingering demands of the entire staff for improved work conditions and would be better-off to quickly tackle such challenges than when an outsider is chosen for the position.
On the other hand, a handful of employees have opposed the appointment of an insider, claiming that such an appointee would not be neutral because, the new person will likely tilt towards certain interests and groups going by the sharp divisions within the university to the disadvantage of those, who may not be in his good books.
There are sharp divisions among academic and non-academic staff within the university about which tribe should control both the administrative and labour structures in the university with the core north insisting that the next vice chancellor must come from the pure Fulani or Hausa stock.
Incumbent Professor Adikwu hails from the Igala ethnic area and many core northerners were allegedly not comfortable with his appointment.
A professor of Political Science and Dean, Faculty of Social Science, University of Abuja, Professor Yusufu Alli Zoaka, who was approached for comments on the matter, declined, saying only, “I know the vice chancellor would soon retire but I cannot comment on what has been going on about who will replace him.”