BUTURA Youths Call For Reinstatement Plateau University VC 

It is with deep concern and dismay that we, the the youths of Butura, the host community of the Plateau State University (PLASU) Bokkos, address the recent removal of our very own, Prof. Matur, Bernard Malau as the Vice Chancellor of the University. This action, purportedly initiated by the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Barrister Caleb Mutfwang as conveyed through a memo issued by the Secretary to the Government of the State 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.

None of these procedures were followed in removing Professor Matur as Vice Chancellor, and no reason was given except for what we have independently gathered to be connected to political differences. This is in spite of the fact that the Butura nation overwhelmingly voted for the PDP in the elections that brought Barrister Mutfwang to power. In addition, the University is purely an academic institution governed by laws and professional experience not sentiments.

After all, Professor Matur’s capacity in steering the Univision towards academic excellence and institutional growth, including fostering a harmonious relationship with the host community is not in doubt.

Under his stewardship within just six months, 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 and remained so 17 years. 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.

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 youths of Butura, the University’s host community, demand the immediate reinstatement of 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. And as enlightened members of the host community, we will not fold our arms and watch injustice being perpetrated on our land against anybody, much less our very own community member.

Failure to comply with this demand within 48hours will compel us to take drastic actions. This university has suffered enough retardation since its establishment and cannot afford another stalemate under Governor Caleb Mutfwang who himself a lawyer should be better aware of the implications of such senseless, politically motivated disregard for rule of law and the wishes of the masses.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Signed:

Marshal Sule – Butura Youth President

Tabai Mahanan Kawai- Butura Youth Secretary

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