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No Idoma person qualified to be UniAgric VC - Emmanuel Kucha tells Senate

Written By Idoma Television on Friday, June 2, 2017 | 11:29:00 PM

By Yemi Itodo 

The Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, has disclosed that, it was only Tiv people in Benue State that were qualified for appointments made in the institution. 

Kucha stated this yesterday, while making effort to justify the many appointments of Principal Officers and nominal staff of UniAgric, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
According to him, every appointment made in the school was purely based on merit, adding that  recruitment exercises were always conducted according to laid down rules. 

He debunked the allegation that, the appointment of Dr. Helen Nyitse was based on favourable disposition of the Tiv dominated selection committee. 

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Federal Character Commission (FCC), Shetima Bukar-Abba, has revealed that the appointment of Mrs. Nyitse as Registrar of UniAgric was made possible due to many pressures from "some senior citizens".

When asked by the committee, why the FCC would contradict itself by going ahead to issue a certificate of compliance to the institution to appoint the Registrar, having declined in its previous memo; Mr. Bukar-Abba said some political leaders from Benue State, including the Governor, a serving Senator, the Commissioner representing Benue at the FCC and other leaders, mounted pressure on the commission to rescind its decision. 

"But they assured me that, in subsequent openings, Benue indigenes would not apply. In 4 months time, the VC will go, the Burser too has few months. The positions have been advertised already", the Chairman said. 

He, however, said the Benue leaders had reneged on their agreement, as more Benue people had already applied for the positions. 

The commission said that, it didn't recognize tribes in enforcing federal character principles, adding that, it was only states that were recognized. 

"Federal Character is not based on tribes. It is done on states basis", Bukar-Abba said. 

It could be recalled that, the OPIATOHA K'IDOMA, an Idoma Social Cultural group, petitioned the Nigerian Senate, over lopsided appointments in the university, especially, the appointment of Dr. Mrs. Helen Nyitse as Registrar. 

The group alleged that, the Vice Chancellor of the university, the deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and the Bursar were all from the Tiv tribes of Benue, saying, the appointment of Nyitse, another Tiv woman into principal position, would negate the principle of federal character. 

It raised concern that, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Kucha and Mrs. Nyitse were from the same local government, Guma, where Gov. Samuel Ortom hailed from. 

The group sought to know, whether it was not a breach of Federal character, for 4 Vice Chancellors to be appointed from Tiv tribes in successions. 

On its part, the Senate committee queried the Federal Character Commission for allowing itself to be pressurised into doing what was not proper. 

The committee also frowned at the appointments of 13 Principal officers, both current and past, where the Tiv people occupied 9, leaving other tribes and states to occupy only 4 positions, in a general government owned institution. 

The Ethics and Privileges committee, having concluded its findings, shall submit its report at the plenary, for further legislative actions.

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