ATBU ASUU urges Education Minister to ensure universities run according to relevant laws

ATBU ASUU urges Education Minister to ensure universities run according to relevant laws

ATBU ASUU urges Education Minister to ensure universities run according to relevant laws

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is the visitor to all Federal universities in Nigeria has been called to earnestly and accordingly use his noble office to ensure that governing councils of universities are restored immediately.

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Also, the Minister of Education as the supervisor of the universities has been called to ensure that the universities are run according to the laws of the land and other relevant laws to protect what remains in the sanctity of public universities in Nigeria.

He was also urged to immediately halt the illegally started process of appointment of a vice chancellor for the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi.

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The call was made by the ATBU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) during a press conference held at its Secretariat at the Yelwa campus on Monday, titled: ‘The Advertisement of Vacancy for the Post of Vice Chancellor in ATBU Bauchi: An Illegality.’

Addressing journalists on behalf of the executive members of ASUU, Ibrahim Ibrahim Inuwa (PhD), Chairperson, of the ATBU Bauch declared, “The advertisement of the vacancy for the post of Vice Chancellor in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi (Internal & External Advertisement) published on Sunday January 13th, 2024 in Leadership Weekend Newspaper has got tongues wagging within and outside the university community due to the absence of the university council.

“The union vehemently rejects this illegality because it runs counter to any relevant law governing the university.”

“The said advertisement signed by the Acting Registrar (Custodian of the Law) of the University, Hajiya Aisha Idris stated that the advertisement is at the behest of the Honourable Minister of Education: The Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Education hereby announces that the position of the Vice Chancellor of the University shall be vacant.

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“The advertisement further stated that pursuant to the provisions of the Universities (miscellaneous provisions) Act, 1993 as amended, is hereby initiating the process of filling the impending vacancy.

“The union is worried about the misapplication of the provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1993 as amended. The provisions of the Act never vested the powers of the advertisement of vacancy for the post of Vice Chancellor with the Hon. Minister of Education nor with the Registrar of the University.

“The aforementioned provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1993 as amended, are also reinforced by the ATBU Bauchi Conditions of Service as reflected in Chapter 16: Appointment of Principal Officers of the University, Subsection A: Appointment of Vice-Chancellor.

“In fact, the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1993 as amended, as well as the ATBU Bauchi Conditions of Service are unequivocally clear on what should happen in the event there is a vacancy in the Vice Chancellor’s post.

“The Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1993 as amended, Part A (A83-A84) section 2-4 states that “(2) Where a vacancy occurs in the post of a Vice Chancellor, the Council shall: Advertise the vacancy in a reputable journal or a widely read newspaper in Nigeria, specifying There are no circumstances whatsoever in neither the spirit nor the letters of all the University Laws where anybody else rather than the Council, is given the powers to appoint a substantive Vice-Chancellor.

“However in an abnormal situation, the Law allows the University Senate to appoint an acting Vice Chancellor to hold the office for a maximum period of six months. This position is clearly spelt out in Chapter 16 Subsection A (b) xi-xi of the ATBU conditions of service.

He then stated that ASUU ATBU finds the move very disturbing and unbecoming of the Management of ATBU Bauchi in using the absence of the Council to perpetuate illegality even in the face of unambiguous provisions of the laws.

The ASUU branch Chairperson added, “This attitude of abusing the university laws by the university management has gradually become a norm. For example, the university management disregards all extant laws and the university council’s directives that all principal officers who are in acting capacity should not exceed six months in that capacity and should be replaced by the next most senior officer in the unit if the vacancy is not yet properly filled.

“Nonetheless, the university management violated this directive by allowing the current acting Registrar and other offices to be holding office for more than one year and counting. The Registrar, who is the supposed custodian of the university laws is unfortunately accommodating illegality.

“Another display of impunity by the university management is the appointment of an acting bursar who in the last Presidential visitation panel white paper’s report was indicted for refusing to honour the invitation of the panel.

“In fact, the university management knowing fully well that there is no council in place went ahead to sign contracts and illegally employ staff into the university even when it knows that such powers solely rests with the university council.

“ASUU is so worried how a substantive Vice Chancellor who derives his powers from the laws establishing public universities will stand so low to violate the laws and allow nepotism and impunity to guide his judgement.