The Butura Youth Association has called for the immediate reinstatement of the Vice Chancellor of the Plateau State University, Bokkos, Prof Bernard Malau Matur. The association in a statement signed by its Youth President, Marshal Sule and Secretary, Tabai Machanan Kawai said the removal of the Vice Chancellor is a cog in the wheel of academic progress. The association said under Prof Matur tremendous progress have been made both in academic, infrastructural development and human capacity development. The association then wonders why he was removed if not for vindictive reason and a direct affront on the Butura people who despite having the University in their land have never had the privilege of producing a Vice Chancellor until now.
Prof Matur it will be recalled was appointed the Vice Chancellor in February, 2023 after the expiration of the tenure of his predecessor, Prof Daniel Yohanna Izam. prof Matur has only spent a year in office out of the five years statutory tenure. He was however removed today from office alongside the Rector f Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin, Provosts of College of Education Gindiri, College of Health Technology, Zawan and College of Health Technology, Pankshin. the Plateau State Governor in a statement signed by the Secretary of the Government of the State, Arc Samuel Nanchang Jatau, FNIA didnt give any reason for the removal of the headship of the five Tertiary institutions but conveys the governor’s best wishes to the affected heads in their future endeavours. The governor also dissolved the governing council of Plateau State University
Below is the Butura Youth Association’s full press release
BUTURA YOUTHS CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE REINSTALL MENT OF VINDICTIVE SACK OF PLASU VICE CHANCELLOR.
THE VINDICTIVE REMOVAL OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR OF PLATEAU STATE UNIVERSITY, BOKKOS (PLASU) IS NULL & VOID AND AN ATTEMPT TO CLOG THE WHEEL OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS.
It is with deep concern and dismay that we, the concerned citizens, stakeholders, and members of the academic community, address the recent removal of the Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University, Bokkos (PLASU). This action, purportedly initiated by the Executive Governor of Plateau State, as conveyed through a memo issued by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, on various social media platforms, has sparked widespread apprehension and disapproval.
For the sake of clarity and adherence to due process, it is imperative to reference the legal framework governing the removal of a Vice Chancellor as stipulated in Section 3(8)-(11) of the Principal Act, duly amended. This provision vests the authority to remove the Vice Chancellor in the Governing Council, subject to specific grounds such as gross misconduct or incapacity to fulfill the duties of the office. Importantly, the process outlined mandates a fair and transparent procedure, including the constitution of a Joint Committee of Council and Senate to investigate allegations and provide a platform for the accused to defend themselves. Any decision reached by the Council is subject to appeal to the Visitor, ensuring accountability and safeguarding the rights of all parties involved.
In light of the recent events, it is imperative to underscore the significant strides and accomplishments made under the leadership of Professor Bernard Matur during his tenure as Vice Chancellor. Prof. Matur’s visionary leadership has been instrumental in steering PLASU towards academic excellence and institutional growth.
Under his stewardship, PLASU has experienced remarkable expansion, with the establishment of new faculties and the introduction of numerous graduate and post-graduate programs. The recent approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for additional faculties and programs 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. Under Prof. Matur, it has expanded to eleven faculties with as many as 48 graduate and post-graduate programs. 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. Within the NUC approvals, three new programs are set to launch in the Faculty of Sciences, encompassing the departments of Zoology, Plant Science, and Biotechnology.
Furthermore, Prof. Matur’s administration has prioritized the welfare of staff and students alike. Through diligent efforts, salary arrears spanning several months have been settled, academic allowances have been cleared, and infrastructure has been improved to provide conducive learning and working environments.
Of particular reference is the renovation of a 300-room female hostel block that had been in poor condition prior to his appointment. Under the administration of Professor Matur, the contract for the hostel’s renovation was initiated to ensure comfortable accommodation for students.
This updated facility now boasts new beddings, water taps, as well as refreshed walls and ceilings. Contractors handling the project expressed gratitude to the university for the opportunity to contribute to its infrastructure and assured that the work was completed according to specifications.
Of equal significance is the proactive approach taken towards enhancing security on campus. Prof. 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.
Some of the notable security enhancements include the establishment of an 18-man police station, a 12-man civil defense team and a 12-man military task force, along with the recruitment of 40 private security personnel to add up to the 89 that were previously available. There is also the presence of 21 professional hunters to ensure that there is total security on campus.
Prof. Matur has equally attracted dozens of partnerships and interventions including with BUA Group, Zenith Bank, Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, Edwin Clark University among others.
Additionally, Prof. Matur’s commitment to dialogue and inclusivity has fostered a conducive atmosphere for constructive engagement and collaboration. The commendation extended by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) on December 18, 2023 serves as a testament to Prof. Matur’s effective leadership and his dedication to addressing the concerns of staff members.
In light of these achievements and the adherence to legal protocols governing the removal of a Vice Chancellor, the recent decision to remove Prof. Bernard 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 undersigned, urge the relevant authorities to reconsider this decision and reinstate 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.
Marshal Sule – Butura Youth Movement (BYM)President
Tabai Mahanan Kawai- BYM Secretary