Walking His Talk
In a clime where professionals hardly go back to their professions after holding public office, the immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who left office recently has returned to his university job.
Prof. Jega was sighted in his office at Bayero University Kano (BUK) recently, where he was vice chancellor before his appointment as INEC boss in June 2010 by former President Goodluck Jonathan. Until his appointment as vice chancellor, he had lectured in the Department of Political Science.
It was revealed that on his arrival at BUK, Jega went to the office of the Vice Chancellor, Abubakar Rasheed, before he proceeded to his former office at the department of political science.
Before Jega, there were many Nigerian professionals who after tasting the perks of public office (elective or appointive) refused to go back to their professions at the expiration of their tenure. They rather continue to hang on in the corridors of power, and are ready to stoop for anything to remain visible. There are also few of them who have quietly returned to their professions after concluding national assignment. But obviously and frankly, the former are in majority especially among the academics.
The former Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University of Zaria and Chancellor of Bauchi State University, Prof. Ango Abdullahi has condemned the ugly trend in an interview with The Guardian during his 76 years birthday last year.
Commenting on Jega’s return to BUK, Prof. Abdullahi said: “I have always condemned situation where academics leave the Ivory Tower in drove to serve as aides to their past students that are occupying elective or appointive public office or serve in public offices, only to fail to return to their work thereafter. It is a very dangerous and degrading act that has affected our education development so much.
“Jega’s return to the university is highly commendable and worthy of emulation. He will have his integrity and honour intact and contribute immensely in the development of younger generation.
“He left the university to national assignment with a leave of absence and returned back at the expiration of his first term. He has not attained the university retirement age. He didn’t lobby as usual or expected for re-appointment for second term in office. The academic community and Nigerians will ever remain proud of him.’
The Kebbi-born academic had made it clear before the expiration of his first term in office as INEC Chairman recently that he would not seek re-appointment or acc