UniJos VC tussle: Staff, students urge FG to be transparent as protest hit university
Staff and students of the University of Jos have advised the Federal Government to ensure transparency in the selection process of the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
Students of the University also staged a peaceful protest, urging the Federal Government to ensure a seamless process takes place.
13 candidates, all from the University of Jos are vying for the position of the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
DAILY POST recalls that, the selection of a new Vice Chancellor at the University has been generating complaints in different quarters as interested parties have continued to grumble over what they termed lack of proper procedures in the whole process.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sebastian Maimako’s five-year tenure has come to an end and a search for a new Vice Chancellor has begun.
A Source had told DAILY POST that there is yet to be a substantive replacement for the University’s Governing Council Chairman, Prince Tony Momoh, who passed on in February, while the University Act stipulates that the screening of the new Vice Chancellor will be done by the Chairman of the Council.
According to the source, that is the basis of the controversy and the lacuna in shopping for the new Vice Chancellor.
The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the section 4(2), (3), & (4) of the University Act clearly states that where vacancy occurs in the post of a Vice Chancellor, the Governing Council shall advertise the vacancy in a reputable journal or widely read newspaper in Nigeria, specifying the qualities of who may apply for the post, the terms and conditions of service application to the post, and thereafter draw up a shortlist of suitable candidates for the post for consideration.
“The council shall then constitute a search team consisting of a member of the council who is not a member of the senate as chairman. The council shall constitute two members of the senate who are not members of the council, one of whom shall be a professor; two members of the congregation who are not members of councils, one of whom shall be a professor.
“Again, the council shall identify and nominate for consideration suitable persons who are not likely to apply for the post of their own volition.
The source, said the above stated procedure and many more are yet to be followed in the selection process which is expected to happen soon, adding that if there is no intervention to correct this, it will generate into a big crisis in the institution and disrupt academic activities.
Addressing journalists on Monday, the Secretary of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) of the institution,
Mr Muplang Kangpe, gave the aforementioned to the Federal Government.
Kangpe, who decried that the ongoing process for the selection of a new vice chancellor has been truncated, described the move as an orchestrated plan to favour a particular candidate.
He said the Governing Council of the university have not derailed in following due process in the selection of a new vice chancellor, hence should be allowed to conclude the process.
The SSANU Official explained that the process which has commenced since December 2020, was to be concluded with an announcement of a new vice chancellor by Friday, April 23rd, 2021.
The Secretary further described the suspension of the process by the National Universities Commission (NUC) as an usurpation of the roles of the governing council and disregard for the university autonomy Act.
He also said that the suspension of the selection process has created unnecessary tension within the university community and raised suspicions among the candidates vying for the position.
“At the time of this press conference, we are not aware of any breach of the extant laws regarding the selection process, neither are we aware of a petition by any candidate and groups.
“But to our greatest dismay, the entire process was ordered to be suspended and invitation was extended to council members to appear before the Executive Secretary of NUC, by Wednesday, April 21.
“This we strongly feel is orchestrated to truncate the laid down statutory process duly followed before the recent development.
“We also want to state that this is an outright disregard for the university autonomy Act and an usurpation of the responsibility of the governing council.
“This singular act of suspending the process is also creating unnecessary tension within the university community and generating suspicion among the candidates, thereby brewing conflict in the peaceful environment.
“We, therefore, call on President Mohammadu Buhari, to call the attention of the NUC executive secretary, Prof. Abdulrasheed Abubakar, to desist from interfering with the activities of the governing council, who are appointed to oversee the activities of the university on behalf of the Visitor.
“Also, we call on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to direct the conclusion of the selection process to enable a smooth emergence of a new vice chancellor,”he urged.
Staging a peaceful protest at the entrance of the University, students of the institution called on the Federal government to ensure the right thing was done.
Speaker of the Student Union Government (SUG) parliament of the university, Comrade Nanshin Lakai, said the protest was in solidarity with the staff.
Lakai said, “As the largest constituency in this institution, we are staging this peaceful protest, first in solidarity with our staff and secondly to ensure the right thing is done.
“To show how serious we are about this, students defy going to write their examination just to participate in this peaceful protest,”he said.
DAILY POST reports that the students barricaded the entrance of the university, stopping entry and exit.
Source: Daily Post