UNIJOS staff, students demand transparency in selection of VC

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Staff and students of the University of Jos (UNIJOS) have staged a protest to demand transparency in the selection process for the Vice-Chancellor of the institution by federal government.

Secretary for the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Mr Muplang Kangpe disclosed this in a press conference after a demonstration at the university.

Kangpe expressed worries that the ongoing process for the selection of a new Vice Chancellor chancellor has been truncated, describing the move as an orchestrated plan to favour a particular candidate.

He said the Governing Council of the university has not derailed in following due process in the selection of new Vice Chancellor, and so should be allowed to conclude the process.

Kangpe explained that the process which commenced in December 2020 was to be concluded with an announcement of a new Vice Chancellor by Friday, April 23.

He 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 running for the position.

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“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,” Kangpe said.

But to our greatest dismay, the entire process was ordered to be suspended and invitation was extended to council members 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.

“May we also want to state that this is an outright disregard of 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 as 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.

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“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.

Also speaking at the press conference, the students of institution called on the federal government to ensure the right thing was done.

Mr Nanshin Lakai, the Speaker of the Student Union Government (SUG) parliament of the university, said they were in solidarity with the staff.

“As the largest constituency in this institution, we are here, first in solidarity with our staff and, secondly, to ensure the right thing is done,” he said.

“To show how serious we are about this, students defy going to write their examination just to be here.”

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