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Group urges 13 VCs to resign over illegal appointment


University-Of-JosUncertainty over new Unijos VC
A coalition of some civil society organisations have advised the 13 Vice Chancellors of federal universities appointed by the Federal Government last February to take the path of honour by resigning their offices.

The group explained that this measure has become imperative following President Buhari’s apologies to the country over the ill-advised dissolution of the governing boards of the affected universities, which preceded the sack of the former Vice Chancellors and the appointment of new ones.

In a statement at the weekend in Abuja, signed on behalf of the coalition by the National Convener of the Concerned Citizens for Educational Development (CCED), Comrade Solomon Adodo and the Executive Director, Friends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative (FGAI), George Oji, the group commended the principled position of Professor Auwal Yadudu who bluntly refused to accept the offer of appointment as Vice Chancellor of the University of Birnin Kebbi for not following due process.

The group restated the position of the law, which provides that the appointment of Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities is the sole affairs of each University without undue interference from the Visitor (President) as seen in the case of University of Jos Governing Council under the Chairmanship of Chief Don Etiebet, stressing that, “the competitiveness of the process gives room for the best candidate to emerge successfully without any iota of bias or political interference.”

Meanwhile, for the second time in quick succession, uncertainty is trailing the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for the university of Jos in Plateau state.

Professor Sebastian Maimako was at the weekend appointed as the 9th Vice Chancellor of the university to take over from Professor Hayward Mafuyai whose tenure will expire on June 23, this year. This was after an interview by the institution’s Governing Council led by Chief Don Etiebet in which no fewer than 18 candidates participated.

It was gathered that before the announcement of the new Vice chancellor last Friday, members of the institution’s chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association who have been at logger head with the leadership over a clause, which allegedly prevented them from participating in the selection of a new vice-chancellor had secured a court order on the eve of the appointment restraining the Governing Council from going ahead with the exercise but the council went ahead to announce a new vice chancellor.

Sources close to the NMA in Jos yesterday said the association would today initiate a contempt of court proceedings against the university in Bauchi State where the case is being handled.There are fears that the motion if successful, may stall the inauguration of the new Vice Chancellor in June.

The current controversy surrounding the appointment of the VC started in 2011 when the university advertised for the position stating that to qualify for the position, a candidate must be a professor of at least five years standing and he or she must possess a doctoral degree.

The advertisement had triggered apprehension among members of the NMA who perceived it as a ploy to disenfranchise them from the race, a development that made them approach the court to contest the requirements.

The doctors had argued that the number of years spent in training and qualifying as medical doctors, as well as working as consultants, were enough to place them on the same level as holders of doctoral degrees and as such, should not be excluded in the race.

The case which was first instituted at the Federal High court in Jos when the current Vice chancellor was appointed about five years ago later moved to Bauchi State after complaints by members of the NMA over lack of confidence by the presiding judge.

Although the senate later removed the controversial clause, the doctors have not given up on the case, as they, through their counsel are insisting that further action bordering on selection of VC should be put on hold until the final determination of the pending suit.

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