Staff members and students of University of Jos have advised the Federal Government to ensure transparency in the selection process of the Vice-Chancellor of the institution.
Muplang Kangpe, Secretary of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) of the institution, gave the advice at a press conference on Monday in Jos.
Kangpe who decried that the ongoing process for the selection of a new vice chancellor has been truncated, described the move as an orchestrated plan to favour a particular candidate.
He said that the governing council of the university had not derailed in following due process in the selection of the new vice-chancellor and should, therefore, be allowed to conclude the process.
The SSANU scribe further explained that the process, which had commenced since December 2020, was to be concluded with an announcement of a new vice- chancellor by April 23.
He described the suspension of the process by National Universities Commission (NUC) as a usurpation of the roles of the governing council and disregard for the University Autonomy Act.
Kangpe also said that the suspension of the selection process had created unnecessary tension within the university community, thus raising suspicions among the candidates vying for the position.
“Up till now, we are not aware of any breach of extant laws regarding the selection process and neither are we aware of a petition from any candidate or group.
“But, to our greatest dismay, the entire process was ordered to be suspended, while invitation was extended to council members to appear before the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abdulrasheed Abubakar, on April 21.
“This, we strongly feel, is orchestrated to truncate the laid down statutory process duly followed before the recent development.
“We also want to state that this is an outright disregard for the university autonomy act and usurpation of the responsibility of the governing council.
“This singular act of suspending the process is also creating unnecessary tension within the university community and generating suspicion among the candidates, thereby brewing conflict in the hitherto peaceful environment.
“We, therefore, call on President Mohammadu Buhari, to prevail on NUC to desist from interfering with the activities of members of the governing council who were appointed to oversee the activities of the university on behalf of the Visitor.
“Also, we call on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to direct the conclusion of the selection process to ensure smooth emergence of a new vice chancellor,” he said.
Also speaking, Nanshin Lakai, Speaker, Students’ Union Government (SUG) Parliament of the university, called on the federal government to ensure that the right thing was done in the selection process.
“As the largest constituency in this institution, we are here, first in solidarity with the staff members and second, to call on the authorities to ensure that the right thing is done.
“To show how serious we are about this, we, the students, have to defy our examinations, just to be here,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the students later barricaded the entrance of the university, thus preventing people and motorists from entering and exiting.
NAN also reports that 13 candidates, all from the university, are vying for the position of vice- chancellor of the institution.