Paul Obi in Abuja
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) wednesday gave the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, an ultimatum to reinstate the sacked 13 vice-chancellors whose appointments were recently terminated or face the wrath of the body.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, NANS President, Tijani Shehu, said the minister acted unilaterally without recourse to the extant laws governing such appointments.
According to Shehu, “The Nigerian educational sector has been mired in thickets of controversy and contrived confusion due to certain missteps of the minister.
“We are dismally dismayed by the fact that the minister has remained hesitant in doing the needful which is the reinstatement of the sacked vice-chancellors which was wrongfully done.”
NANS maintained that given the crisis that now characterised Adamu’s rash decision, there was need to return to the status quo ante in order to ensure peace.
He stated that reinstating the sacked VCs was the right path to take, adding: “Rather, the minister has chosen to give diverse counter – interpretations to Mr President’s apology just to soothe his whims and ego.”
The group insisted: “Adamu did not follow due process since no board sat down to consider and interview prospective candidates for the said vice-chancellors’ appointments.”
Shehu argued: “Adamu’s refusal to take the right path has demonstrated his contempt and disregard for President Muhammadu Buhari”
They further demanded that “the unjustly sacked vice-chancellors be reinstated immediately in consonance with Mr. President’s apology and adhere to the universities’ rules.”
NANS told journalists that failure on the part of the minister to reinstate the sacked the vice-chancellors would compel the association to “pursue a just course for the right thing to be done.”
They charged the minister to “tender an unreserved apology to Nigerian students and the academic community for his misleading actions” or “resign his appointment.”
The group also deployed the minister and Permanent Secretary, Dr Folashade Esan, on their refusal to consult with stakeholders on the way forward in resolving the logjam.
While commending President Buhari for apologising on the sack of the vice-chancellors and universities’ boards, NANS applauded the decision of “Prof. Auwalu Yadudu for declining to accept the appointment offered to him to serve as VC of Federal University Birni-Kebbi.
“By this salient selfless action, Yadudu has not only written his name in the ink of gold in Nigeria’s hall of fame of academics, but also, this goes a long way to show that he understands the workings of university system and extant laws,” the association observed.