Barely four days to the election of a new Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, one of the leading contestants, Prof. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade has withdrawn from the race.
Sequel to this, an emergency Governing Council meeting had been slated for Monday morning, though without any agenda.
Similarly, the Joint Action Committee of the Unions had mobilised its members for an emergency meeting for Monday thus sending a signal to the council not to compromise the integrity of the process.
With Raji-Oyelade withdrawal from the race, the stage is set for the remaining 15 contestants including the Acting Vice Chancellor wherein only six of them will be selected in the Oct. 12 election.
Earlier, some candidates had threatened massive boycotts if they found out that integrity of the process is compromised.
The withdrawal of Oyelade from the race might not be unconnected with the reason stated above, even though he did not give any reason in the letter of withdrawal sent to the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led Council.
A source close to him said he withdrew from the race because of a moral issue as he could not imagine himself being interviewed by two of the compromised likely Senate Representatives in Prof. Peter Olapegba and Prof. Ezekiel Ayoola.
It will be recalled that only four of the 16 contestants appeared physically last week Monday during the town hall meeting organised by the joint Unions in the premier institution where they unfolded their vision plans to the UI Community.
This was due to the fact that the affected candidates believe that the exercise is losing its credibility owing to some signs they are seeing.
As at press time, no one knows the agenda of the Governing Council emergency meeting but sources hinted that it will be on safeguarding the process as the council had vowed to protect its integrity.
According to the election time table released earlier, electronic voting will be held on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, between the hours of 9 am and 12 noon.
The general mood within the university community is that with the inclusion of these two compromised personalities Prof. Ayoola and Prof Olapegba as members of the Senate Representatives, the credibility and integrity of the new effort at electing new VC will be in doubt.
It is expected that the Governing Council will look at these issues and many other issues such as petitions against the candidature of the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Babatunde Ekanola.
Irrespective of all these, the Council is determined to produce a substantive Vice Chancellor by October 14 in line with its revised timetable.
After the election on October 12, the screening to select six out of the remaining 15 contestants will be held on October 13.
The council will do the final selection of the six, interview them and ratify the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor on Oct. 14.