(Editorial) Sacked VCs- Why Adamu Adamu should be sanctioned
President Muhammadu Buhari in February sacked vice-chancellors appointed by his predecessor, President Goodluck Jonathan for the Federal universities set up by the administration.
In a statement issued then by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, the sacking had the approval of President Buhari.
Among the sacked academics is Professor Vincent Tenebe, the vice-chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN.
A short statement by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu in Abuja simply said President Muhammadu Buhari, had approved the appointment of new Vice Chancellors for the affected Universities.
The Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCSG) quickly condemned the development, indicating that the action may have violated the rules guiding appointments of vice-chancellors and their tenure.
The CCSG in its protest letter to Buhari signed by its President, Etuk Bassey Williams and Secretary-General, Ibrahim Abubakar, said the action contravenes the provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No.11 of 1993 (as amended) by decree No.25, 1996 and further amended in 2003 and 2012 respectively and other agreements as contained in the 2009 FGN staff union agreement.
Consequent to the protest by CCSG, Aljazirahnews recalls that Buhari has since apologized for the decision by government to hurriedly terminate the appointments of universities’ vice chancellors, particularly, their governing councils, without recourse to the extant laws.
However, a Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Education, Dauda Abdulramid, explained that the president’s apology does not translate into reinstating the sacked vice chancellors given that government’s earlier position was no longer reversible.
He added that notwithstanding Buhari’s apology, the decision by government cannot be rescinded by recalling the sacked vice chancellors.
Aljazirahnews would like to express concern that despite President Buhari’s public apology for the wrongful dissolution of the governing boards of the affected universities, which preceded the sack of the Vice Chancellors and the directive that the affected vice chancellors be recalled, the minister did not comply with the president’s directive.
We are particularly concerned that the minister as usual has continued to be obstinate in his approach to matters under his jurisdiction.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu despite his principal’s directive continued to give deaf ears to the demands for the reinstatement of the sacked 13 vice chancellors and possible reparations.
Even despite public outcry in recent months, the minister has maintained an unholy silence over the matter thus making a section of Nigerians believe that the minister is one of the untouchables in the president’s cabinet.
We believe such an act especially by one sustained by tax payers’ monies should not be condoned by the president and indeed Nigerians.
To this extent, the minister must be sanctioned appropriately for defying the president’s order.
Aljazirahnews urges Adamu Adamu to wake up from his sleep to know that the Ministry of Education is not a joke.
We opine that Malam Adamu Adamu’s refusal to recall sacked vice chancellors is tantamount to contempt for Mr. President and also an attempt to introduce autocracy and politicking into our universities in an era when autonomy and merit should be the prevailing order.
And for Mr President, a simple apology over the matter is certainly not enough!