-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):
THE Federal Ministry of Education has been enjoined to respect the relevant laws that grants autonomy to Federal Universities.
In a communique issued and signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Association, Comrade Lambert Iwueke at the end of her 186th Executive Council Meeting of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Worldwide, held at Dame Edith Okowa Auditorium, University of Ibadan, the association noted with angst the decision by the Ministry of Education to oust the powers of the institution’s Governing Council in the performance of her statutory function in formulating policies for the University .
It was the position of the council that such unbriddled intervention in the affairs of the University, especially her interference in determining when council could hold her statutory meeting, as is now the case in the University, was inimical to the progress of the universities.
The body appealed to the Minister of Education to exercise utmost restraint in interfering in the operations of the universities positing and that doing so effectively negates the Sacred autonomy of the universities especially that of University of Ibadan, as enshrined in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No.11 of 1983 and as amended in Act No.55, 1993, Act No.25, 1996, the University Autonomy Act No.1, 2007 and the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act, 2012.
The Alumni Association further urged the Ministry of Education to respect the tradition and ethos of the University of Ibadan garnered over 70 years.
The body equally expressed deep concern that it appears the ministry was determined to foist a candidate on the university and called on the ministry to have a rethink on the issue for the purpose of peace in the 72 year old citadel of learning.
On the very vexed issue of appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor for the University, the body passionately appealed to all the contending interests for the vacant position to exercise restraint in their hot pursuit for the job.
They reminded the contenders to think more of the interest of the University than their own, pointing out that the University was greater than any one of them.
It was also the considered view of the Alumni Association that in considering who leads the University at this critical time, great care must be taken that such choice is not based on primodial issues of religion and ethnicity as the University is of universal nature and should therefore not be bogged down by elemental consideration in her choice.
According to the body, the only condition necessary was excellence. They therefore enjoined those involved in the selection process, i.e the Governing Council and senate to painstakinly choose the best in the pack especially someone who is well placed to move the University in terms of learning and research forward and place the University where it ought to rightly belong amongst the league of universities in the world.
On the increased security concerns in the country, the body expressed concern that with the spate of killings, it appears that human life is no longer worth anything and called for the immediate halt in the diminishing value for human life in the country.
It described the situation in the country as akin to Hobbesian state of nature where there is continual fear, danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
While it was their firm view that securing the nation should be everybody’s concern, they however called on the security agencies to swiftly stem the tide and make the country secure for all to live in.