The crisis rocking the Federal University Duste (FUD) over the selection of a new Vice-Chancellor (VC) that will take over from Professor Fatima Batul Mukhtar has taken a new dimension following the interference of the state Governor, Abubakar Badaru.
Youths in their numbers had stormed the university and disrupted a screening process that will lead to the appointment of a VC, alleging that a candidate, who is an indigene of Jigawa state was not favoured for the job.
It was gathered that the incident angered the chairman of the screening committee who threatened to abandon the selection process.
Reason for the interference of the youths, it was gathered, was not unconnected with the template set up for the selection of the VC that was not going to favour a young professor who is an indigene of the state.
It was gathered that the governor later invited members of the selection committee, excluding two members from the North East.
The governor allegedly threatened the members of the committee that if they produced a vice-chancellor of the federal university outside the North West or Jigawa state, he would make sure the university council is dissolved.
The governor’s intervention, however, is said to be against the chances of a highly qualified professor from Borno state (North East), Professor Usman Adamu Izge.
“The governor is doing so to favour a Jigawa state indigene who has been a professor for less than five years. The professorship of the governor’s preferred candidate is not clear as to whether he was given a professorship in Malaysia or Nigeria.
“But Professor Izge on the other hand has an academic and administrative track record. He was once ahead of the department, dean, deputy vice-chancellor and a director of a centre,” a source familiar with the crisis at FUD said.
But the governor has said that his intervention was only to ensure peaceful selection process insisting there was no plan to impose anyone.
An associate of the governor who is aware of the issue said as a man of peace and an advocate of unity, Badaru will not want to exchange competency to favouritism adding that his intervention was to ensure the process went peacefully.
FUD is one of the nine universities created by the federal government in 2011. FUD offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The federal university held its first convocation ceremony on 16 January 2016.