Federal character bane of educational advancement in Nigeria —Don

A University Don and Public Commentator, at Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Dr Ichor Tersaghhas stated that the federal character and quota system being adopted in the appointment of management team of universities in the country has been the bane of educational advancement in the country.

Dr Tersagh, who spoke with newsmen in Makurdi, Benue State capital advocated merit and excellence in the university system, stressing that the nation’s citadel of learning should not be based on ethnicity, if the desired standard of education should be realised.

While making reference to the recent appointment of Mrs Helen Nyitse, as the ‘Registrar’ of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Dr Tersagh, who is a lecturer in the department of Biological Sciences expressed disgust in the petition of a group against the appointment of Mrs Nyitse, who he believed was appointed by the council based on merit.

Earlier, a group had called on the Federal Ministry of Education to jettison the appointment of Mrs Nyitse as the new registrar of the institution, who was said to have come first in the examination conducted for 15 persons by the council.

The group in their petition claimed that the appointment of Mrs Nyitse did not reflect federal character since other principal officers of the institution are from the same ethnic group (Tiv) with the new registrar.

Dr Tersagh said: “I’m aware of a petition against the new substantive registrar of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State arguing that the appointment did not reflect federal character.

“Whereas I’m very much aware that about 15 persons sat for the examination in which Mrs Nyitse came first, while the second and third  persons were also from the same ethnic group, with the new registrar and the template upon which the interview was conducted  was excellence not ethnicity,” adding, ‘if we continue to jettison merit and excellence in our citadel of learning, then the much desired growth in our educational system will remain elusive.”

In his reaction, the university’s Public Relation Officer, Mr Fanafa stated that the onus lied on the council who earlier approved the appointment of Mrs Nyitse as the substantive registrar to issue the letter since the visitor cannot do so, adding ‘ it does not make sense for federal character to react now or act on any petition when a particular tribe has held the position for 15 years.”