• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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Why we are protesting removal of Plateau State University VC, by youths

Unknown gunmen invade PLASU female hostel

The youth from Butura, the community hosting Plateau State University (PLASU) in Bokkos, have explained why they are protesting the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Bernard Matur, a professor.

They have expressed strong opposition to the state government over the Vice Chancellor’s sack, saying that the action did not follow due process.

In a protest statement signed by Marshal Sule, president of Butura Youths, and Tabai Kawai, secretary, made available to BusinessDay on Thursday in Jos, the youth stated that the removal of Prof. Matur, who is from their community, lacked due process.

Read also: Plateau State University ignores ASUU directives, goes on strike

They cited specific legal provisions governing the removal of a vice chancellor, emphasizing the need for transparency and fair investigation, which they claim were not followed.

The youth leaders pointed out that the university’s governance should be based on laws and expertise, not political affiliations.

They highlighted Prof. Matur’s achievements in expanding academic programmes and infrastructure within a short period, as well as his efforts in improving staff welfare and campus security.

They therefore demanded the immediate reinstatement of the vice chancellor, asserting their commitment to academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and excellence in higher education.

The youth emphasized their resolve to resist injustice and stand up for their community’s rights.

“Under his stewardship within just six months, PLASU has experienced remarkable expansion, with the establishment of new faculties and the introduction of numerous graduate and post-graduate programmes.

“The recent approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for additional faculties and programmes is a testament to Prof. Matur’s commitment to enhancing the academic offerings and research capabilities of the university.

“Plateau State University commenced academic activities in 2007 with four faculties and remained so for 17 years.

“Under Matur, it has expanded to eleven faculties with as many as 48 graduate and post-graduate programmes.

“The new faculties include the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, and Health Sciences. Just this November, the National Universities Commission granted approval for an additional faculty, the Faculty of Education,” they said.

They further stated that within the NUC approvals, three new programmes were set to launch in the Faculty of Sciences, encompassing the departments of Zoology, Plant Science, and Biotechnology.

They also listed Matur administration’s other achievements to include the clearance of staff salary arrears and academic allowances and the improvement of infrastructure for a conducive learning and working environment.

They also made reference to the renovation of a 300-room female hostel block that had been in poor condition prior to his appointment.

The statement added that Matur’s initiatives, including the establishment of dedicated security teams and the recruitment of additional personnel, have bolstered safety measures and instilled confidence within the university community.

“In light of these achievements and the adherence to legal protocols governing the removal of a Vice Chancellor, the recent decision to remove Prof. Matur from office is not only unjust but also poses a threat to the stability and progress of PLASU.

“It is evident that this action is motivated by factors beyond the scope of academic merit and institutional integrity.

“Therefore, we, the youths of Butura, the university’s host community, demand the immediate reinstatement of Prof. Bernard Matur as Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University, Bokkos.

“We stand in solidarity with Prof. Matur and affirm our commitment to upholding the principles of academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and the pursuit of excellence in higher education.

“And as enlightened members of the host community, we will not fold our arms and watch injustice being perpetrated on our land against anybody, much less our very own community member,” they stressed.