The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Students' Union Government (FUTASUG), has condemned what it termed the 'illegal' suspension of the FUTA Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
The group said the decision to suspend the VC was done without the consent of the FUTA Governing Council.
Recall that Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) on Wednesday had called for the sack of four Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities over alleged corruption leveled against them.
Reacting, however, FUTASUG, in a statement by its president, Com. Oladele Segun described the act as pure wickedness.
According to Segun, "The action of the non-academic staff union endeared the staff to the hearts of FUTA students; it was widely jubilated and welcomed by all concerned stakeholders in FUTA. It is surprising, appalling and draconian for the Minister to bow to pressure from retrogressive forces that are determined to take a pound of flesh from the FUTA Vice Chancellor and the Bursar.
"It is pertinent to state categorically that the corruption trial of the Vice Chancellor and the Bursar – which was cited as the reason for this illegal suspension – is before a court of competent jurisdiction, thus the Students' Union finds it undemocratic, autocratic, unconstitutional and an abuse of court process for the Minister of Education to unilaterally suspend the top university officials without recourse to stipulated guidelines. It begs the question why was the suspension not issued out during the peak of the FUTA crisis? Why was the suspension carried out after the inauguration of the FUTA Governing Council?
"This suspension, if allowed to hold, is an attack on the autonomy of the University system. It contravenes the provisions of the Universities Miscellaneous Act No.11 of 1993 (as amended) by decree No.25, 1996 and further amended in 2003 and 2012, and other items contained in the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and the unions.
"The Students' Union is compelled to call the attention of the general public to the illegality of the suspension of the Vice Chancellor and the Bursar by the Minister of Education. While we are not unmindful of the fact that the Minister acted unilaterally like an emperor, it is pertinent to know that in the pursuit of an agenda driven by unguided passion and power tussle, impunity becomes inevitable as the end, irrespective of the means, is all that matters and in this case, the removal of the Vice Chancellor and the Bursar is the outcome of an unguided passion and power tussle by unscrupulous elements in the Ministry of Education.
"The constitution is very clear on the procedures to be followed in the appointment and disengagement of Vice Chancellors and none of these procedures was followed by the Minister of Education in the FUTA case according to the provisions of the University Miscellaneous Act. The power to appoint and remove a substantive Vice Chancellor, and when the need arises, an acting Vice Chancellor, is vested in the Governing Councils. FUTA has a Governing Council in place, thus the action of the Minister is an attack on the Nigerian Constitution.
"The subtle usurpation of the statutory function of the FUTA Governing Council by the Minister of Education in suspending the Vice Chancellor and the Bursar does not augur well for the integrity and well-being of the Nigerian University system.
"It is on this note that FUTASUG, as the custodian of the rights and privileges of the entire FUTA students, is stating emphatically that the students are no longer comfortable with the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu. We hereby pass a 'Vote of No Confidence' on the Minister of Education, with a request for his immediate removal as the Minister of Education.
"The academic community has been contributing immensely to the development of Nigeria over the years well before the Minister was born, he cannot desecrate the revered Nigerian academic culture. Our appeal to the Federal Government is for the immediate reversal of the unconstitutional and hasty suspension of the FUTA Vice Chancellor and the Bursar."