The Concerned Citizens of the University of Jos, made up of veteran professors said the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Character has no mandate to prosecute the management of the university for alleged violation of the Federal Character policy on employment and admissions.
The group’s spokesman, Prof Noel Wannang, stated this at the weekend during a press conference in Jos and said the current management of the University of Jos has done exceptionally well compared to most federal universities which have all their management staff from their states of domicile.
Prof Wannang said it is unacceptable for the House Committee on Federal Character to single out the University of Jos for such public embarrassment and urged them to extend the same treatment to all federal universities in the country.
The group said in a statement:
“Our attention has been drawn to the recent video trending in the social media on the interactive session, between the House Committee on Federal Character and the Management of the University of Jos.
“We noted that while the University Management was willing to provide documentary evidence in support of their case, they were denied the opportunity. We noted, and sadly too, that the Committee of supposedly Honourable lawmakers descended to the level of issuing threats of prosecution on the University Management; a mandate they clearly lack.
“While we are not against the House Committee carrying out its oversight functions, singling out the University of Jos in the manner they did, suggests a premeditated intention, this we reject in its entirety.
“For such an exercise to be valid and objective, it should cut across all Federal Universities in Nigeria. Indeed we are aware that the Federal University, Dutsinma in Katsina State, where the Chairman of the House Committee on Federal Character comes from, has the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Librarian all from Katsina State.
“Similarly, in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, where Honourable Samaila Suleiman comes from, the Vice-Chancellor who has just gone on terminal leave, the DVC Admin, the Bursar and the Librarian are all from Kano State.
“In the Federal University of Technology, Akure Ondo State ( where the deputy Chairman of the Committee comes from), all principal officers are from the South-West zone of the country.”
The spokesman said apart from the Vice-Chancellor and the Register of the University of Jos that are Plateau indigenes, all other management staff and critical stakeholders in the institution are sourced from across Nigeria’s six regions.