I am inundated with calls and messages regarding the viral video of the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Character investigation of the employment profile of University of Jos, and the need to wade into the impasse for the good of Plateau State.
Prior to the constitution of standing committees of the House of Representatives, I raised a motion for the investigation of employment into federal ministries, departments and agencies based on the concerns that employment into federal government offices favoured a particular region and religion as it particularly affected my constituency from plateau state.
Consequently, an adhoc committee headed by Reps Wale Oke was instituted to look into the matter and I was made a member of that adhoc committee.
We toured the 6 geopolitical zones and invited over over 800 federal government departments and agencies across the country.
When we were investigating the employment books of the university of Jos, the VC was represented by his DVC and I used the privilege of my membership of the committee to give University of Jos a soft landing and ensured that UJ was given a clean bill of health. This was done without asking for any Favour nor employment slots from the VC. This took place in Lafia, Nasarawa state where all the agencies from plateau state were summoned.
It is a know fact that federal establishment cited in any location in Nigeria, favours the host community in terms of employment. And university of Jos is not an exception. Therefore, however antagonistic the House Committee Chairman might have sounded in their interactions with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, the employments so far given can hardly be reversed and all the universities across the country are thesame on this.
But we must be very careful how we ventilate our grievances, less we ruffle more feathers.
Those making assertions that the committee targeted University of Jos for ulterior motives are rather doing so out of sheer ignorance. The Vice Chancellor of Federal University Gusau was grilled by the same committee to the extent of literally shedding tears before the committee.
We have Prof. Angela Miri as VC of Federal University, Lokoja who had to defend barrage of petitions written against her.
The UJ VC could have gotten in touch with lawmakers from Plateau state to persuade their colleagues in the committee for a soft landing, but he didn’t do so.
I am still appealing to those making commentaries on social media regarding this issue to exercise restraint in their comments and opinions less we add salt to injuries. I am aware of procurement issues that started since the 8th assembly targeted at thesame VC university of jos and I have personally seek the intervention of MR speaker in that regard.
Although I am not the representative of plateau in the House Committee on Federal Character but the Committee and any other committees for that matter, has the full powers of the House of Representatives, and acts as the whole house in the various committees, as such, we should not irk the committee members to act ruthlessly in this matter as we are doing our best to resolve the issue.
The committee members have have access to the social media and can read our posts and comments. And we will not be there to defend the VC when the need will arise.
Whatever it was that the VC was subjected to is not new, and must have applied to other heads of government institutions that appeared before the committee. Let’s not trivialize the activities of the committee as a witch hunt against Plateau people. I personally spoke with the Rt Hon. Speaker on this matter and I have his assurance that our brother, the VC, is safe. We must let the sleeping dog lie. This is just an investigation into employment, let’s not invite more trouble for the VC on other aspects.
Rt Hon Yusuf Adamu GAGDI
Dan Malikin Kanam/Dan Majen Jahr, Chairman Committee on Navy, member Reps Pankshi/Kànke/Kanam NASS Abuja.