Reps Committee grills: UniJos lecturers urges NASS committee to retrace steps, investigate all Federal Varsities

By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

A Group under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of the University of Jos has urged the House of representatives Committee on Federal Character to in the interest of justice, retrace it steps and ensure thorough investigation of all Federal Universities and make their findings public.

The Group which comprises of Professors and lecturers of the institution, disclosed this while
addressing journalists in Jos the Plateau State Capital.

It would be recalled that recently there has been a video trending in the social media on the interactive session, between the House Committee on Federal Character and the Management of the University of Jos.

In the said video, the Committee alleged imbalances in the distribution of Staff of the University to the advantage of the North Central Zone and of Plateau State in particular.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Prof. Noel Wannang said it was absurd for the Committee to reduce the appointment of the University Management under the Governing Council to a “Plateau affair”.

“In the light of the foregoing, it is important to educate the Committee and the general public on the Structure of University Management, among others.

It said, “The Governing Council is the appropriate Organ responsible for appointments, employment and promotion of staff. Such appointments with regards to Principal Officers of the University, are usually well advertised and candidates given equal opportunities by the Council.

“The Council executes these functions on behalf of the Visitor, who is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

However, the group maintained that, for the avoidance of doubt, the composition of the current management team of the University of Jos is as follows; Prof. Sebastian Seddi Maimako, Vice Chancellor from Plateau, Prof. Ishaya Tanko DVC (Academic) Kebbi, Prof. Greg Ejikeme(Administration) Abia, Mr. Philip F. Umbugala Bursar Nassarawa, Dr. Thomas A. Adigun (Librarian) Ogun, and Mr. Monday Danjem (Registrar) Plateau.

According to the group, “It is worthy to note that, since inception of the University- 45 years ago, only 6 Plateau State indigenes have been appointed Vice Chancellors, and out of 24 Deputy Vice Chancellors, none had ever been from Plateau State.

“Similarly, in the 45 year history of the University, no Plateau indigene has ever been appointed Librarian; and only two were appointed Bursars”, it explained.

“Note also that the constitution of the Governing Council of any University by the President is objective, respects diversity and selects men and women of impeccable character, covering all shades of interests. In this regard, none of the Chairmen of Council is ever appointed from the catchment area of the University.

“It is therefore, absurd for the Committee to reduce the appointment of the University Management under the Council to a Plateau affair”, the group maintained.

The Group further stated that, while it was not against the House Committee carrying out its oversight functions, but singling out the University of Jos in the manner it did, “suggests a premeditated intention, this we reject in its entirety”.

“For such an exercise to be valid and objective, it should cut across all Federal Universities in Nigeria.

The University Dons however said, they were aware that the Federal University, Dutsinma in Katsina State (coincidentally, where the Chairman of the House Committee on Federal Character comes from), has the Vice chancellor, Registrar and Librarian all from Katsina State.

“Similarly, in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State (Incidentally, where Honourable Samaila Suleiman comes from), the Vice Chancellor who has just gone on terminal leave, the DVC Administration, the Bursar and the Librarian are all from Kano State.

“Also, in the Federal University of Technology, Akure Ondo State (where the deputy Chairman of the Committee comes from), all principal officers are from the South-West zone of the Country.

“These three classic examples typify what is obtainable in most Federal Universities across the country, unlike the balanced appointments practiced in the University of Jos”, the Group further explained.

“We therefore wonder why the Committee overlooked these obvious infractions in their backyards and singled out the University of Jos for National ridicule”, they lamented.

They urged the Committee to in the interest of justice, “retrace their steps and investigate all Federal Universities and make their findings public”.

The Group commended the Management of the University of Jos, in their efforts to propel the University to greater heights.

“We call on the Management not to be distracted by this. We are in absolute solidarity”, they stressed.

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