UniAbuja ASUU Opposes Minister’s Approval of Advertisement for VC Successor

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Abuja (UniAbuja) finds itself in conflict with Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, over an advertisement purportedly approved by the minister to seek the successor of the university’s vice-chancellor (VC).

ASUU has rejected the advertisement, alleging that it was approved by the minister without proper authorization from the university’s governing council.

On March 15, an advertorial appeared in a national daily calling for applications to replace Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, the immediate past VC of UniAbuja.

During a conference on Thursday, ASUU members unanimously rejected the advertisement, labeling it as “illegal” and emphasizing that it did not originate from the governing council.

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Sylvanus Ugoh, the chairman of UniAbuja ASUU, pointed out that according to the Universities Miscellaneous Provision Act 1993 as amended in 2003 and 2012 (section 3 subsections 1 and 2), only the governing council has the authority to advertise the VC position when it becomes vacant.

Ugoh argued that no other individual or body has the legal mandate to initiate the process of appointing a new VC.

He stated, “The Academic Staff Union of Universities at the 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.”

Despite ASUU’s previous resolutions communicated to the university administration on March 6, 2024, the administration proceeded to publish the unauthorized advertisement.

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ASUU cautioned potential applicants for the VC position to refrain from responding to the advertisement until proper due process is followed.

In 2023, President Bola Tinubu directed the dissolution of the governing councils of all federal universities, leading to a scenario where federal universities must seek government approval before making administrative decisions, including fee adjustments.

Ugoh alleged that this directive has resulted in a “high-level disregard” for regulations and “flagrant abuse” of the laws governing UniAbuja.

ASUU called on the federal government to reinstate the governing councils to ensure university autonomy and urged the management and the Minister of Education to withdraw the published advertisement in compliance with the law.

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