Bayelsa group kicks against appointment of Otuoke Varsity VC
Tension is brewing in the Federal University, Otuoke, as Bayelsa State indigenes faulted appointment of Professor Seth Accra Jaja as Vice chancellor of the institution.
A group, Bayelsa Youths for Truth and the Rule of Law, in a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari; Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, through their counsel, Ayibatekena Bruce Ebiki, observed that the president was deceived into appointing Jaja and called for reversal of the appointment.
In the petition made available to The Guardian, the group noted that appointment of a vice chancellor is usually done through the Council of University, and if the institution hasn’t got one, the Minister of Education, acting under the President’s directive could appoint an acting vice chancellor.
It said it was against the norm for a substantive vice chancellor to be appointed in the absence of a governing council. Accordingly, as soon as the council is appointed, the position of vice chancellor will be advertised and the most suitable candidate selected.
The group argued that for decades, vice chancellors of federal universities have always been from the host state. And since Jaja hails from Rivers State, his appointment contravenes this principle, which has been in operation for more than 40 years.
In the petition, the group said when the post of vice chancellor was advertised at the University of Port Harcourt, four professors from Bayelsa State, three being employees of the university, attended the interview. But they were rejected on the basis that the Vice Chancellor of the university must be a professor of Rivers State extraction.
The petitioners contended that the mandatory minimum requirement for such appointment is at least 10 years post professorial experience, whereas Jaja has just been a professor for six years.
The youths alleged that Bayelsa State has been marginalised because it currently has an opposition government. They accused some politicians from the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state of being behind the scheme to impose Prof Jaja, knowing that he is not qualified for the post.
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