ASUU Rejects Advertorial For UniAbuja’s Vice Chancellor Position

The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), University of Abuja branch, has rejected the advertisement for the institution’s Vice Chancellor position.

It would be recalled that the current management of the University, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, had recently placed an advertorial on the vacancy of the post of the Vice Chancellor in a national daily.

But, addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the chairperson of the University’s branch of ASUU, Dr. Sylvanus Ugoh, stated that the advertorial, as part of the process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor, was not acceptable to the Union and its members because it contravened relevant laws.

He, therefore, warned the intending applicants to steer clear until due process is adhered to on the recruitment of a new VC.

The decision was taken following its congress held on March 19, 2024, at Abuja, where it undertook a comprehensive review of issues of urgent attention which the Union had engaged the University Administration led by Na’Allah as the Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja.

The Union lamented that at different times, the Federal Government’s actions and inactions have contributed negatively to the smooth running of the Universities’ administration in Nigeria especially the University of Abuja, saying the congress was alarmed for the umpteenth time with the reports of issues in the University that have affected the smooth flow of academic cultures and traditions.

According to the Union, “The Universities Miscellaneous Provision Act 1993 (as amended) 2003 and 2012 section 3 subsection 1 and 2 states: ‘Where a vacancy occurs in the post of a Vice Chancellor, the Governing Council shall advertise the vacancy in a reputable journal or a widely read newspaper in Nigeria.’

“The laws are very clear and unambiguous in this matter. The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, was quoted to have given approval for the advertisement of the would-be vacant position of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja.

“Also, The Universities Miscellaneous Provision Act 2003 (as amended). Section 2AA states that: ‘The power of the Governing Council shall exercise as in the Low and statutes of each University and to that extent establishment circulars that are inconsistent with the law and statutes of the University shall not apply to the Universities.’

“It should be noted that by the above provisions of the laws, the Governing Council and no other organ is vested with the duties and powers to initiate and set forth the process of appointing a new Vice Chancellor when there is a vacancy.

“The Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Abuja wishes to declare that the Minister of Education and the University Administration acted in violation of the Act and the university autonomy.

“ASUU is dismayed that the Registrar as the custodian of the law cannot claim ignorance of the process and procedure of appointment of the Vice chancellor as stated in the Act. This, is in spite of congress resolutions of 6th of March, 2024, which were communicated to the University Administration, yet it went ahead to place the illegal advert.

“The Union rejects the advertisement and shall resist it within the ambits of the law. The Union wishes to inform intending applicants to steer clear until due process is adhered to,” he added.

The Union also condemned the illegal appointments of acting Deans of Faculties and the Provost College of Health Sciences, noting that the current administration has totally disregarded the provision of the Act.

“As at today, there are neither elected Deans nor Provost across all faculties and College in the University. The Union has made several efforts to draw the attention of the University Administration to this outright disregard to The Act but the administration has remained adamant. In spite of the Branch Exco interactions and Zonal visitation of ASUU, to the Vice Chancellor on the same concern, he remains non-responsive.”

On the issue of recruitment of staff without due process, it lamented that all recruitments made by the current University administration were neither advertised nor interview carried out.

It, therefore, urged the Minister of Education who was quoted to have approved what it called illegal advertisement for the vacant post of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, to direct the withdrawal of the said advert in compliance with the extant laws that established the University of Abuja.

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