President Buhari did not reverse the sack of VCs

The Presidency clarified its point on the recent apology tendered by President Muhammadu Buhari over the sacked 13 vice chancellors and disbanding of governing councils of universities. President Buhari clarified his position on the issue at a forum of APC stalwarts in Abuja yesterday.

President Muhammadu Buhari told the forum that his 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.”

However, a statement made by the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Education, Dauda Abdulramid, clarified the President’s stance. Dauda said, “The President did not say he had reversed the sack, he only apologized. 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.”

Corroborating the position of the Senior Special Assistant, the Chairman of National Universities Commission (NUC), Ibrahim Yakassi, 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 But he rescinded that decision as he said because the councils needed to be in place to appoint vice chancellors.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.

“The president’s apology has no relationship whatsoever with the recently disengaged vice-chancellors or councils. It was in reference to the dissolution of councils of the entire country that he included the councils of universities then. So the councils that he meant, he actually spoke in past tense, were the councils of these universities dissolved. The 13 vice chancellors were done much later; it has no relationship with that. So nobody is going to issue out any policy statement; nobody is going to recall anybody.”