A coalition of Kwara North Elders on Monday rejected the appointment of Prof. Muhammed Akanbi as the new Vice-Chancellor of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete.
The elders in a statement issued in Ilorin, described the decision of the state government to appoint Akanbi as ‘insensitive’, claiming it is extremely against the principles of ‘equity, justice and fairness’ in such a symbiotic and heterogeneous political entity like Kwara.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had on April 1 approved the appointment of Akanbi in the statement issued by Hajia Sa’adat Moddibo-Kawu, the State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology.
Akanbi who hailed from Kwara Central is the son of the late Justice Mustapha Akanbi, a former President of Court of Appeal and the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The statement, endorsed by prominent elders in Kwara North led by Sen. Shaba Lafiagi, a former governor and senator in the state, and Shehu Abdulrahman said that the zone was marginalised for the position.
“The entire people of the Kwara North Senatorial Zone in Nigeria and the diaspora have been much saddened by the appointment of Prof. Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi as the new Vice-Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU).
“The appointment is quite nauseating and very insensitive because it goes extremely against the principles of equity, justice and fairness in a symbiotic and heterogeneous political entity like our beloved Kwara State.
”It is very timely for us to recall here that the fact that the Kwara State University was established with the resources of all sections of Kwara State is really never in doubt.
“Indeed, it is an undeniable fact that not until recently, our five local government areas that constitute the Kwara North Senatorial Zone contributed funds through monthly deductions from our monthly statutory allocations and internally generated revenue, not only for the establishment but also for the sustenance of the university,” the statement read in part.
It faulted the appointment as failing the norms and conventions in Nigeria’s socio-political engineering process of balancing the allocation of the resources and privileges derivable from common patrimony.
This, it said, included sharing of political appointments and positions of influence in government amongst the three senatorial zones of each state like the federal government sharing among the six geopolitical zones.
The situation, the elders said was different in Kwara.
“Apart from the initial consideration in the three major positions where the governor came from Kwara Central; the Deputy Governor, Kwara South and the Speaker, Kwara North.
“The idea of sustaining that equilibrium in the interest of equity, justice and fairness has been jettisoned, with a clear disregard for the interest of the Kwara North Senatorial Zone, especially in the light of the subsequent appointments made since the advent of the present administration in the state.
”It cannot be argued or claimed that only professors from the Kwara Central Senatorial Zone are the only persons qualified for the position of the VC of KWASU.
“This claim could not stand as available facts disclosed that while the Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Mahmud Sakah (from Kwara North) came first in the interview conducted, Prof Muhammad Mustapha Akanbi who was just appointed came third!
”Although, it is understandable that Your Excellency as the Visitor to KWASU reserves the right to choose a qualified person for the position of VC of KWASU.
“However, the pledges and assurances Your Excellency gave to the people of Kwara North Senatorial Zone that you will arrest the marginalisation on all fronts that the senatorial zone has been suffering for decades coupled with the zoning principle would have been considered in your decision in the appointment of the VC for KWASU,” the statement further quoted the elders.
Other signatories to the statement are Chief Timothy Saba, Alhaji Alfa Shonga, Alhaji S.Y. Haliru, Alhaji M T Mamman, Alhaji S Y Abdullahi, Dr Mohammed Haruna, Alhaji Tajudeen Abdulkadir, Mallam Umaru Sha’aba, Alhaji Mohamed Kudu and Alhaji Kollo Rifun.
Alhaji Sule Ahman Patigi, Alhaji Dabarako Mohammad, who is a former Head of Service in the state, Alhaji Zubairu Rogun, Mallam Abdullahi Lade, Alhaji Attahiru Manko and former Speaker Benjamin Yisa, among others, also signed the statement.
NAN recalls that Kwara North Groups under the aegis of Coalition of Kwara North Groups (CKNG) had in a statement last week said that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led administration has marginalised the senatorial district in the appointment of aides.
The CKNG in its analysis stated that Kwara Central had 16 appointees, Kwara South 10, while only three appointments were made from Kwara North. (NAN)