Two hundred and sixty-nine staff of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma in Katsina State, have protested their sack from the institution by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Haruna Abdu Kaita, calling on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to redress the injustice of their sack.
In a letter to the Minister, the affected workers accused Kaita of working against the “Change Agenda” of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The letter was copied to the chairmen of the Senate and Federal House of Representatives Education Committees, National Human Rights Commission and Nigerian Labour Congress among others.
Dated 22 September and signed on their behalf by Obeh James Agada, the sacked workers’ letter said Professor Kaita relieved 229 staff of their duties in one day (19 September, 2016) on the ground that due process was not followed in their appointments.
Earlier, Professor Kaita, disclosed the workers, had sacked more than 40 workers. That was between February and August.
The workers explained that Professor Kaita used their temporary employment status as a pretext to sack them. He was said to have claimed that the appointments were neither regularized nor renewed. The workers, however, argued that the appointments were regularised on February 9, 2016, with representatives of Federal Character Commission in attendance.
Professor Kaita was also said to have terminated the appointments of lecturers, who signed bonds with the university. Professors in this category, said the workers, received scholarship from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), with the agreement to return and serve the university for double the number of years it takes to complete their academic programmes.
One of these, the letter disclosed, was Mr. Oikeh Idiegberanoise, a lecturer in the Department of Animal Production. He was sent to Newcastle University in the United Kingdom for his Ph.D. on a scholarship of ₦30,538,324.67 in 2014.
He was expected to return to serve the university for six years, but had his appointment terminated by Professor Kaita earlier this year, leading to a waste of resources.
The workers pleaded with the Education Minister to rectify the situation, saying Professor Kaita has boasted that he has the support of important people in power