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No going back on sacked 13 vice chancellors, says minister

Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education
Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education

NANS protests against govt’s decision
MINISTER of Education, Adamu Adamu, yesterday said the Federal Government had no intention of rescinding its decision on the recent sacking of 13 vice chancellors of some universities established by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Adamu, who stated this yesterday while kicking off the 2015-2016 yearly school census in Abuja , stated that the ministry had already received some complaints from aggrieved Nigerians over the sack, adding that the complaints are currently being looked into.

He said: “Do you reverse government’s decisions simply because somebody has criticised them? I don’t think it is all government decisions that go down well with everyone in the country.

“The ministry has received representation from people who feel aggrieved because their tenure has not expired and we are looking at it.”
When asked specifically on the expected court cases that would arise from their sack, he simply said: “They have already written to us and we are looking at their complaints and we will reply in due course.”

In another development, a team of policemen yesterday dispersed protesting members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at the Ministry of Education, Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that policemen manhandled a camera man working for the Africa Independent Television (AIT) and smashed his camera.

NANS President, Mr. Tijani Shehu and no fewer than five other students, were arrested.NAN said the students, who had gathered at the entrance of the ministry protesting the recent sacking of vice chancellors of 13 federal universities, carried placards with inscriptions “ASUU, break the silence against this injustice”, “Sacking of VCs, an attempt to cripple our citadels”, “Say no to injustice”, among others.

Speaking on the yearly school census, the minister said that the exercise was informed by the provisions of the Nigeria Education Management Information System (NEMIS) policy of 2007, which provides for the collection of education data starting from the school.

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, who was at the event, lamented the daily influx of people into the FCT, saying the development was taking unnecessary toll on the facilities and educational institutions.

He said sanctions would soon be meted out on private school owners in the FCT who are taking advantage of the situation to fleece parents while offering sub-standard educational services.

The students said that Adamu erred in the appointment of new vice chancellors, which they said, was a usurpation of the duties of universities governing councils.

The NANS president said that the association duly notified all relevant agencies, including the Minister of Education of its protest and wondered why the minister could not come to address them.

He accused the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Students (ASUU) of complicity in the sacking of the vice chancellors as it had been silent on the issue.