The Federal Government has sacked all the vice chancellors of 12 federal universities that were established by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. Also affected by the sack is the Vice Chancellor of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Vincent Tenebe.
Their dismissal which was contained in a short statement signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and obtained by journalists on Saturday in Abuja, simply said President Muahammadu Buhari, has approved the appointment of new vice chancellors for the universities.
But the decision is already generating ripples, with some members of the academic community claiming that it is only the Governing Council of NOUN of which Tenebe is a member, that could remove him. A human rights organisation, Coalition of Civil Society Groups has protested against the sack in a letter to Buhari, demanding the reversal of the decision in which the NOUN VC was replaced with Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu of the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano.
The substantive Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Prof. Mohammed Kundiri, was transferred to the Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State. 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.
The petitioners said that four out of the 12 newly appointed vice chancellors are from Kano University, an action they said, was a clear violation of the federal character principle.