Buhari’s Apology Does Not Include Recall of 13 Sacked VCs – FG
The Federal Government on Wednesday clarified its position on the recent apology by President Muhammadu Buhari over the sacked 13 vice chancellors and the dissolution of governing councils of universities.
Buhari, at a forum in Abuja with All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts, had apologised over the decision by government to hurriedly terminate the appointments of universities’ vice-chancellors, particularly, their governing councils, without recourse to the extant laws.
The president at the forum had told his party members that government “gave a blanket order which we had to rescind when we said all boards are suspended or dissolved. We had to go back and lick our vomit in terms of universities councils because we found out that according to their laws, they cannot choose vice chancellors unless the councils sit and interview candidates who want to be VCs. So, there is nothing wrong in saying sorry and going back on your decision. So, we said sorry and allow all the universities to continue with their councils. So, please try to bear with us as we reflect on where we found ourselves.”
Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Education, Dauda Abdulramid, however explained that the president’s apology did not connote reinstating the sacked vice-chancellors, given that government on the issue earlier position was no longer reversible.
Abdulramid said that notwithstanding Buhari’s apology, the decision by government cannot be rescind, by recalling the sacked vice chancellors.
“He did not say he had reversed the sack, he only apologised. Once government takes a decision, it stands by it. Maybe, subsequently, they will take caution. But that does not mean he clearly stated that the sacked vice chancellors should be recalled,” he added.
Similarly, the Head of Information and Public Relations, National Universities Commission (NUC), Ibrahim Yakassi, in an interview, corroborated the position of the minister’s aide, arguing that “the situation is misunderstood; the president was speaking in past tense, go back and read what he said.
“He made reference to the dissolution of all boards in this country. It has nothing to do with the 13 vice chancellors who were recently disengaged. It has no relation to that. The president dissolved all boards in this country including all the councils of federal universities then. But he rescinded that decision as he said because the councils needed to be in place to appoint vice chancellors. There was a process then; most universities’ vice chancellors were going then.”