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Published On: Fri, Jul 11th, 2014

New VC: Reps wade into UniAbuja leadership crisis

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Prof-AdikuThe House of Representatives yesterday resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the role played by the Governing Council of the University of Abuja, in the recent recruitment of its vice-chancellor.

The House, in a motion under matters of urgent national importance, moved by Rep. Pally Irriase (APC Edo), noted that there has been discontentment on the appointment of the new vice chancellor, which he said, is fast assuming ethno-religious coloration and may spell doom for the university.

Rep. Irriase told the House that the discontentment stems from alleged injustice, discrimination and unfairness in the processes leading to the said appointment, which led to the dropping of first and second candidates who scored over 80 percent and 70 percent to pave way for the candidate who score a little above 60 percent.

He further noted that a situation where a third place candidate was allegedly chosen in preference to the other two front runners in the competition for the post of the vice-chancellor requires convincing explanation from the university governing council.

He expressed concerned that there is an urgent need to stop the intractable problems bedeviling the Nigeria university system arising from brazen disregard for merit, fairness and justice.

“Unless steps are taken to courageously address the discontenment in the university of Abuja community, the matter may lead to avoidable unrest.

The motion was unanimously adopted by the House and set up an ad-hoc committee to report its findings and recommendations within seven days.

Similarly, the House in a motion moved by Rep Ibrahim Gusau, (PDP Zamfara), urged federal government to resolved all issues with Acadamic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), for the immediate resumption of studies in the polytechnics.

They further expressed worry over the lingering crisis that has affected the studies of over two million Nigerian’s student who would have graduated from their classes and those that would have gotten admission.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Area Councils has queried the Gwagwalada area council over the securing of N300 million loan for some projects in the council.

The query was raised yesterday, during the budget defence of the area councils before the House committee.

Chairman of the committee, Rep Ibrahim Ebbo, in his address, expressed concern over the way the area councils were spending their budgetary provision without recourse to the appropriation guideline.

He particularly demanded explanation from the chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, who, while presenting his budget defence for 2013 budget stated that he was planning to secure N300 million.

The chairman wondered how a council with internally-generated revenue of N33 million wanted to collect a loan of N300 million.

The committee chairman however, asked the council chairman how he would pay back the loan and what he wanted to do with such huge loan when the council was not viable enough to pay back.

In his response, the chairman of the Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Abu Giri told the committee that he was trying to secure the loan to enable the council execute some projects for the people to enjoy dividends of democracy.

Abu Giri told the committee that the statutory deduction was the Federal Capital Territory policy.

None of the chairmen was able to convince the committee on the issue of statutory deductions.

The committee, at the end, pronounced illegal such statutory deductions, therefore, urged them to take caution in arbitrary deductions.


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