By Ekemini Raymond
With time racing down to the end of the administration of the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the prestigious University of Calabar, Prof. James Epoke, consultations and scheming have began by many who have interest in clinching the most adorable position in the university.
Indications emerged recently that they are more than five strong contenders who are battling it out to succeed Prof. Epoke, as the 10th Vice Chancellor of the University.
But following the zoning pattern that has come to stay in Cross River state, where every important position in the state is been rotated among the three senatorial districts in the state, the Vice Chancellorship may also have been zoned to the northern senatorial district.
This according to many who spoke to us, is because, the immediate past Vice Chancellors of the institution, Prof. Bassey Asuquo, was from the southern district of the state, and the incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof. James Epoke is from the central district of the state, Abi precisely, and now is the turn for the northern district of the state to produce the the VC.
With regards to the foregoing, illustrious sons and daughters from the northern part of the state have already indicated interest and are consulting intensively to take over the position.
One of the leading contenders in the race is the current Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration of the University, Prof. Zana Akpagu who is said to come from Obudu LGA. CrossRiverWatch findings indicated that Prof. Akpagu is really pulling weight and many big wigs are drumming support for him from all angles within and outside the institution.
Zana has been described by many as the likely successor of the incumbent VC, owing to his experience as a former Commissioner for Education in the state and his closely bonded relationship with the incumbent VC, Prof. James Epoke as evidenced in his recent appointment as the DVC Administration of the institution. He is also said to be a very strong supporter of the newly elected governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, whom many say is Akpagu’s childhood friend.
Another very strong contender who is been admired and supported by many for his simplicity, generosity and kindness is the incumbent Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, Prof. Aniah.
Prof Aniah has been described by many as the only one amidst the various contenders that can sustain the uncommon development that has been initiated by the Epoke administration in the institution, because of his past experience.
It has also been gathered that Prof. Florence Obi, the incumbent Dean of the Faculty of Education is seriously doing her home work well, to clinch the position. Prof. Obi, as the Dean of the Faculty of Education has done tremendously well on a couple of things, ranging from the faculty home coming, first teachers induction, faculty lecture, and lots more. This according to many is an added advantage to her in the race, as her achievements in office will speak for her.
Similarly, the incumbent Commissioner of Education, Prof. Offiong Offiong is also said to be a major threat to all other contestants, due to his political position and relationship with the incumbent governor of the state. Prof. Offiong is said to be doing his consultation from the top, and added to his position as the Commissioner of Education, he is also likely to take over from Prof. Epoke.
Others who are also said to be in the race include, the former Dean of Graduate School of the institution, Prof. Bisong, the immediate past Dean of Allied Medical Science and member of the governing council of the institution, Prof. Ann Asuquo.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed source also has it that, one of the major contestants in the last election who was a major threat to the incumbent Vice Chancellor during his elections, Prof. Osim is interested in the race again.
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