Protesters Take Over Nass, Ministry Of Education Over Sacked Vcs
BEVERLY HILLS, February 17, (THEWILL) – About 2,000 protesters, on Wednesday, disrupted activities at the premises of the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Education, as they protested against the purported sacking of 13 Vice-Chancellors of some Nigerian universities.
According to Bassey Williams Etuk, who coordinated the mass action under the umbrella of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, the sacking of the VCs and their replacement with people mostly from the North violated the federal character principle.
Etuk declared that the action of the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu was a manifestation that he lacked the wherewithal to effectively manage the sector.
“The minister did not have any right to call for the sack of 13 Vice Chancellors. Nine of the 13 sacked Vice Chancellors, their tenure was to expire this last Monday. But four, their tenure is still running; some have two years, some have one year and six months,” he declared.
“What he did which is most disrespectful to the laws of the land is that he appointed six people, his friends from one university.
“He appointed six professors from one university, Bayero University, Kano and he posted them to different tertiary institutions. Not only that, he also appointed two professors from Katsina State, making it eight friends from the just two states in north.
“We came here to tell him that Nigeria is not a sectional country; we are one indivisible Nigeria, nobody should separate us. Nobody should play sentiments with our economy and education sectors.
“The academic community has been here even before the minister was born, he cannot come and change it. Our appeal to him is to honourably reverse the decision.
“Let's agree with him that what he did was wrong, that he did it in a haste. We are here to tell him that he should please reserve that decision within 48 hours with immediate effects. If he does not do that under 48 hours, we will call for his resignation.
The protesters sent a petition to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, which was received on their behalf by the National Assembly Deputy Sergeant-At-Arms, Dennis Maaji.
The protesters then moved to the premises of the Federal Ministry of Education, at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
There, they chanted solidarity songs and carried placards with a number of inscriptions such as, “Adamu must go”, “reinstate the sacked VCs now” and “Nigeria needs a better administrator in the Education Ministry”, among others.