As the race for the Vice-Chancellorship position of the University of Calabar, Unical, plays out, sources within the institution have informed www.calitown.com that eight professors vying for the position are to be interviewed by a select committee of the Governing Council of Unical, today.
It was further disclosed that those to be intervied include, Professors Zana Akpagu, Offiong Offiong, Angrey Unimna, Joe Bisong, E Eneji, Florence Obi, E. Osim and Aniah.
Unimna and Akpagu (a former commissioner in Cross River State) are professors of Languages, Offiong is a Chemistry professor, Eneji, Agric, Aniah, Geography/Regional Planning, Osim, Physiology, Obi, Education and Bisong, who is a one-time Dean of the School’s Graduate School.
Sources however insist that of the eight, Akpagu, Offiong and Unimna, are the front runners for the position. But, Akpagu, who hails from the same locality with Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River State, may have shot himself in the leg on the strength of a spat he once had with Ayade. He is thought to have challenged the governor’s Phd openly in circumstances not unrelated to politics in Obudu. If like we hear, government becomes involved in throwing her weight behind any candidate, Akpagu may be the least likely to get government’s nod.
Offiong was the Education commissioner in the immediate past administration of Liyel Imoke. He is from the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State which has incidentally produced a hand full of Vice-Chancellors in recent times; this is his major stumbling block. One particular source insists that Offiong has no passion for giving and most of his colleagues in the University are unhappy that in the eight years he was a commissioner in a ministry considered to be lucrative, he miserly reached out to them.
Unimna, could be the man for the job as he is considered to be in very cordial terms with high rollers in government. He is also from Obudu, North of Cross River State and if the bizarre tradition of having the governor’s man take up the position of Vice-Chancellor, he could be announced in a matter of hours as the new V-C of Unical.
Obi, the only woman to throw her hat into the V-C fray, is from Boki LGA of the state. That area in the past produced Kevin Etta, a very well liked V-C emeritus of the institution. It is unlikely that the position will return to the CR Central where out-going V-C, James Epoke, hails from; it is a fate she shares with Bisong, another candidate for the position.
The Central Senatorial District factor stands like the sword of Damocles over Osim too. “It is not out of place for Osim to aspire to be V-C, but it must not be a case of one Abi man going and another Abi coming in”, as another source submitted.
“Eneji from Bekwarra, will not likely get the nod over his much more prominent Obudu brothers from the North but then since he has put his foot in through the door, let us wish him well, even if he doesn’t become the V-C”, our source ended.
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