Chris Steven, Abuja
The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency has faulted the recent call by the Egalitarian Movement of Africa (EMA) for the sack of the Vice Chancellors of University of Illorin, AbdulGaniyu Ambali and his University of Calabar counterpart, Zana Akpagu.
The group warned EMA not to allow itself to be used in the hands of saboteurs within the educational sector who do not mean well for the good of our country.
EMA, a non-partisan society of academics had during the weekend called for the sack of the duo over alleged corruption.
Reacting however, via a statement on Tuesday, Executive Secretary of the group, Comrade Isaac Ikpa said that there was no logic in the call for the suspension of the two Vice Chancellors after a thorough investigation by the Centre.
According to Ikpa, “It is clear from our investigations that the facts of the Vice Chancellors who were suspended by the Honourable Minister and the other two Universities are not the same in any material sense.
“Unlike the other Universities, the truth is that University of Ilorin and University of Calabar have no established cases of corruption against the Vice Chancellors anywhere in the country and the attempt to drag them into the mud for selfish reasons should be discarded by the Honourable Minister and all well meaning Nigerians.
“Whereas in the case of Unilorin, members of ASUU University of Ibadan had used the occasion of the appointment of Professor Ishaq Oloyede to get to Professor Ambali who succeeded Oloyede and had taken the University to its enviable height in the society, Prof Zana Akpamgu is being tormented by a certain character who was sacked from the University for his fraudulent actions.
The group therefore, called on EMA to withdraw its statement and tender an unreserved apology to the two gentlemen and their families for dragging their names into the mud.
It added that, “Failure to do this, the Centre would be forced to drag EMA before a court of law as it’s within our mandate to rise for public officers who are nonetheless Nigerians and must not be destroyed for simply providing services in their areas of competence.
“These University Vice Chancellors at the moment deserves hobours for their excellent performance in the last one year and any attempt to vilify them is to discourage selfless leaders in the shoes of Obafemi Awolowo who served Nigeria with all their strength and energy.
“It is worthy to note that until his appointment, Ambila was a renowned professor of veterinary medicine and also the Dean of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University for years and had not record of abuse of office.
“Similarly, Prof Zana Akpagu of Unical had proven to be an astute individual, who had been appointed into several enviable positions, such the Commissioner for education in Cross River State and member of the State Executive Council under the last two administrations. It would be unfair for anyone to accuse him of corrupt practices.”