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PMB reverses sack of NOUN VC, 12 others



President Muham­madu Buhari made a volte-face yester­day when he ordered that the Vice Chancellor of the National Open Univer­sity NOUN and 12 other Vice Chancellors of federal universities he sacked last month return to their duty posts, saying that he can­not remove them single-handed.

The President had earlier apologized for the action which generated so much furore from stakehold­ers, including members of the Academic community and the camp of former President Goodluck Jona­than who appointed the Vice chancellors. They had described the president’s action as a dictatorial ten­dency.

President Buhari, who spoke at the All Progres­sives Congress (APC) Na­tional Executive Commit­tee (NEC) meeting said he had to rescind the blanket order for the dissolution of the Universities Boards, after discovering that by the extant laws of the uni­versities, Vice Chancellors can’t be chosen unless the Boards sit and interview prospective candidates who want to be VCs.

“When we came in af­ter 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), each government had 42 ministries. We reduced them to 24, removed 21 Permanent Secretaries. We sat down and reflected se­riously. We were all in the process of taking over at a time of national budget. So, imagine the volume of work and with what happened in the National Assembly, the padding, it would appear that below the Permanent Secretar­ies, there are still a lot of bureaucracies that are still with them. So, you have to appreciate the position we are in.

“We 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 uni­versity boards because we found out that according to their laws, they cannot choose Vice Chancellors unless the Boards sit down, interview prospective can­didates who wants 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 boards.

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