Violators of VCs’ selection process will be sanctioned, says Buhari

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Agency Reporter

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that anybody found violating the processes of selecting vice chancellors for federal universities will be sanctioned.

The President’s warning came even as he urged the striking members of the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to classrooms.

Buhari spoke on Tuesday during the 72nd Foundation Day and convocation ceremonies of the University of Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the University of Ibadan has been embroiled in crises over the selection of its new vice chancellor expected to take over from the incumbent, Prof. Idowu Olayinka.

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NAN also reports that the President was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.

He said mechanisms had been put in place to ensure that selection of vice chancellors was done in an open, fair and transparent manner.

The President noted that the strike by the lecturers had resulted in prolonged disruption of academic activities in public universities.

“We recognise the rights of workers to express their grievances through lawful actions, including strikes.

“However, there is a reciprocal obligation on the part of workers and unions to ensure the survival and sustainability of their places of employment.

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“Strike tends to compound the problems in the education sector. The current strike by university teachers has gone on for too long and caused enough devastation to the lives of students and the universities alike.

“I urge university teachers to return to their classrooms and seek further accommodation with government from the productive ambience of their campuses,” he said.

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The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the university, Nde Joshua Waklek, said the institution would continue to invest in human capital development and continue to improve on its gown-and-town relationship.

He pleaded for the support of the government in order for the institution to address its financial challenges.

The vice chancellor appealed to the Federal Government to give the university special reconstruction and rehabilitation funds.

Olayinka congratulated the graduands, whom, he said, had been found worthy in character and learning and wished them resounding success in their future endeavours.

NAN reports that 57 candidates from disciplines were awarded Doctor of Philosophy degrees, with the Faculty of Education leading the pack.

Also, 24 candidates of the Pan African University Life and Earth Sciences Institute (PAULESI) were awarded PhD degrees in their programmes.

Four prominent Nigerians were conferred with honorary doctoral degrees.

They included General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.), Dr Layiwola Fatona, Chief Comfort Idowu and Mr John Coumantaros.