May 28, 2024

Ikechebelu to take over from Esimone as acting VC UNIZIK

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By Vincent Ujumadu

The battle to succeed the outgoing Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof Charles Esimone may have been resolved by the National Universities Commission, NUC, which has directed outgoing Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities to hand over to the most senior  ranking Deputy Vice Chancellor.

In the case of UNIZIK, the most ranking DVC is Professor Joseph Ikechebelu who, incidentally, is the only DVC in the university. Ikechebelu is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital.

The five-year tenure of Prof Esimone will come to an end on June 4, 2024, having assumed office about the same time in 2019.

The race to succeed him has been acrimonious as interested professors from within and outside the university have deployed all manner of tactics at their disposal to ensure they secure the plum job. However, the directive from the NUC has cut short their ambition for now, as it has become imperative that Esimone will hand over to Ikechebelu on June 4.

The  letter signed by the Acting Executive Secretary of NUC , Chris J. Maiyaki, read in part: “I write to convey the directive of the Honourable Minister of Education, to the effect that Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities, who are rounding up their tenures, should hand over their responsibilities to their most senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university, in line with extant regulations governing the administration of Federal Universities, which stipulates that Vice-Chancellors are not to remain in  office beyond their designated terminal dates.

“This measure is to ensure a smooth and seamless transition in the leadership of the universities, thereby maintaining the requisite stability and continuity for the effective administration and academic performance of the various institutions.

“Out-going Vice-Chancellors are further, requested to ensure that a detailed handover report documenting key activities, ongoing projects, university assets, financial statements, and any other pertinent information, forms part of the handover process.

“Please note that the Federal Ministry of Education and your respective University Senates must be duly notified of your handover before the terminal dates.

“The Federal Ministry of Education appreciates the contributions of all outgoing Vice-Chancellors and anticipates your cooperation in ensuring a smooth transition process.

“This directive is effective immediately and compliance is mandatory. Please accept the renewed assurances of my highest considerations and best wishes”.