With the just-concluded inauguration of the Governing Council of the 12 newly-established universities by the Honorable Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau on may 5, 2015 and the consequent provision that academic and non-academic members of staff should nominate a member each via the Congregation to the Council, the political atmosphere in the university has been unusually animated.

Contestants from both the academic and non-academic staff are already knocking every door in the university seeking endorsement by colleagues. Some aspirants have even resorted to printing of fliers to highlight their profile, experience and eligibility while others are adopting the face-to-face solicitation approach to win the endorsement of their respective constituencies. The University Management policy makes provisions for one representative each from the two arms of the university.

Meanwhile, a recent memo from Office of the Registrar seems to have taken the sail out of the campaign activities of some contestants as there is a gale of withdrawals from the race by previously prominent contenders. The said memo clearly defined and streamlined eligibility for membership into the Governing Council. According to the memo “membership of congregation shall consist of every member of the administrative staff who holds a degree other than an honorary degree, of any university recognized for the purposes of this statute by the Vice Chancellor”. This implies that only degree holders are eligible to vie for membership.

Last week, one contestant from the academic staff withdrew from the contest, thereby simplifying the nomination process. This action has paved the way for easy passage of another popular choice. Furthermore, in a Memo REF: FUOYE/REG/UGC/247/VOL.1/012 dated May 12, 2015, it was gathered that only officers on the post of Senior Lecturer and above or its equivalent, not retiring within the next four (4) years, will be eligible for nomination as Congregation representatives.

However, the political landscape was broadened when another memo: FUOYE: /REG/UGC/247/VOL.1/013 dated May 15, 2015, stated inter-alia: 'I wish to inform all members of Congregation that, following a review of the conditions for eligibility as Representative of Congregation on the University Governing Council, members of staff on the post of Lecturer 1 and above or its equivalent not retiring within the next four (4) years, will be eligible