The former special adviser to the ex-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ango Abdullahi has expressed concern with the way President Muhammadu Buhari is running the country.
Speaking in Zaria, Kaduna State, Abdulahi said the President has surrounded himself with incompetent sycophants, adding that the NEF is grossly dissatisfied with the way the country is being handled.
While addressing the issue, he also expressed his concerned as regards the sack of 13 Vice Chancellors by the President adding that the act was against the law.
He said; “Well, frankly speaking, university system has been virtually part of all my life. But what is always critically important for a country, for its institutions is to be guided by the rule of law. And anything that runs outside the rules, regulations and laws, you find out that the outcome is usually chaos. You see conflict of interest, and so on and so forth.
“Yes, historically, all Nigerian universities at the point of their establishment are established by law. The one that I know most is the Ahmadu Bello University, and it has to do with the Office of the Registrar as well as the Office of the Vice Chancellor. And of course, laws, when they are made, at various points in time, there are certain circumstances that need to be reviewed in line with the law to fit such circumstances in the evolution of that institution. And all universities are supposed to have laws and regulations.
“To come to this specific and recent happening about the dissolution of governing councils, the need for the sacking of vice chancellors that are in office, I think the resolution of the contentions must be found somewhere in the laws establishing universities, and for me, until recently, I was the Pro-Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. I remember very well the most recent university laws that were amended had conferred specific powers on the governing councils of universities to have sole responsibility for the appointment of their principal officers, including the Vice Chancellors.
“Before then, usually, the councils play a role up to the point when three names are shortlisted among so many that have shown interest in becoming vice chancellors of these universities and eventually these three names are sent to the visitor of the university. And the visitor can use his discretion to take any one of the three names regardless of other recommendations that the council may have made in respect to those three.
“It was his prerogative to pick any of the three and that’s okay. But in the course of the amendment of these laws and particularly with the pressure that was coming from the academic staff over the years, wanting more autonomy, quote and unquote, autonomy for Nigerian universities, and I think associated with the last long ASUU’s strikes, I think the Obasanjo administration acceded to this, if not all, some aspects of university autonomy.
“Buhari should be careful about Nigerian politics especially the politics of the merger of APC, who are in the government to pursue their selfish agenda. Buhari should not be too rigid on permanent friends and enemies. He should be very careful with sycophants both in his cabinet, party and National Assembly.”