The federal government has replaced all the vice-chancellors (VCs) of the federal universities established by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Vincent Tenebe, vice-chancellor of the National Open University (NOUN), has also been relieved of his duty.
Adamu Adamu, minister of education, confirmed this in a statement issued on Saturday, saying President Muahammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of new vice chancellors for the universities.
Apart from Tenebe, the affected VCs are Mobolaji E. Aluko (Otuoke, Bayelsa), Jibril Amin (Dutse Jigawa), James Ayatse (Dutsin-Ma, Katisina), Mohammed Farouk (Kashere, Gombe) and Ekanem Braide (Lafia, Nasarawa). Abdulmumini Rafindadi (Lokoja, Kogi), Oye Ibidapo-Obe (Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi) Isaac Asuzu (Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti), Geoffrey Okogbaa (Wukari, Taraba), Lawal Suleiman Bilbis (Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi), Ben Chuks Okeke (Gusau, Zamfara) and Shehu Abdulrahman (Gasua, Zamfara).
However, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCSG), a human rights organisation, has demanded the reversal of the sacks.
In a letter signed Etuk Bassey Williams, president of the body, and Ibrahim Abubakar, its secretary-general, CCSG said the action contravenes the provisions of the universities (miscellaneous provisions) act no.11 of 1993 (as amended) by decree No.25, 1996 and further amended in 2003 and 2012 respectively and other agreements as contained in the 2009 FGN staff union agreement.
The petitioners said four out of the 12 appointed VCs are from a particular university, an action they described as a clear violation of the federal character principle. They also alleged that due process was not followed in removing the VCs, lamenting that none of the affected officials was allowed to complete his tenure.
CCSG argued that in the event when a VC is to be removed from office before the expiration of his tenure, it is the board of the governing council that should make such recommendation.