Coalition Tackles Community Over Unfair Protest Against Bingham University

A peace advocacy group, operating under the aegis of Coalition for Peace and Justice in Nigeria,CPJN, has flayed Monday’s protest against Bingham University by some members of its host community demanding jobs,scholarship opportunities, contract opportunities, among several others.

The group which noted that the university is not a tribal one to attract such demands, tasked the protesters to channel their energy rightly regarding their demands from the university.

Recall that members of the host communities, had on Monday, carried out a peaceful protest at the university campus to draw attention to their demands from the school management.

They also requested that of one of their own be appointed as a member of the management team at any point in time, stressing that “as the host community, we want the presence of a host community member in the management team of the university any time a new management team is constituted, starting with the post of the outgoing Registrar.

“The position of Registrar is crucial to the efficient functioning of Bingham University. We demand that a qualified member of the host community be appointed as replacement for the outgoing Registrar. This will not only ensure inclusive representation but also bring a deeper understanding of the needs and aspirations of our community to the university’s administrative leadership. The essence is to avoid further friction and misunderstanding between the host community and the University,” they had said.

But reacting to the development in a statement on Tuesday,,Dr. Kensington Ogbu, the Executive Director of the Coalition, told the aggrieved youths that their demands are out of place, “because Bingham University like any other University has extant laws that guides its operations and cannot go against its regulations to meet the aspirations of one man. “

More so, he noted that the requirement advertised is in line with what is obtainable in other universities in the Nigerian University System

To this end, he appealed to the protesting youths against destabilizing academic peace and harmony in the school, assuring that the school operates an open door policy, and also promote equity, fairness and justice to all irrespective of differences in tribe, religious, political affiliations or others.

He confirmed that the University recently placed an advert (internal and external) for the positions of the Registrar and Librarian, stressing that no one is excluded from submitting applications for the vacancy as long the set criteria and best practices are complied with.

He added that the practice in the Nigerian university system is that any applicant above 60 years of age is no longer eligible for the Registrar position, and that part of the criteria is known to all parties interested in the position. “It’s not a decision of Bingham University alone, but in line with retirement age of 65 years as obtainable in other universities.

“Unfortunately, but for some sinister reason(s), the protesting youths in question are laying claim to the position of the Registrar perhaps, because there is a Senior Deputy Registrar of Gbagyi extraction in the employment of Bingham University who might be interested in the position, but above the stipulated age, and seems to be the mastermind along with some highly placed Gbagyi persons.

“But the fact is that Bingham university cannot violate its own regulations to meet the aspirations of one individual. Apparently, the protesting youths are operating in little ignorance, hence, they should study the criteria for such a top management position and follow the application process carefully.

“Besides, there are lots of Gbagyi children in management team of the university as against their claims. For instance, the Director of Works (DoW), Academic Secretary, and some Heads of Departments (HoDs) are from Gbagyi extraction.

“The public should also be informed that the university paid adequate compensation to the host community for the land being occupied by the university.”

Dr. Ogbu, thus, appealed to ECWA President and other top leaders of the Gbagyi community who, expectedly, understand the processes to speak to the protesting youths and the leadership of the host community on how the system operates, and possibly guide them on the requirements to get such appointment either in the immediate or future.

“One wonders why this is happening even when the ECWA President and the Esu Karu, who is the Chancellor of the university are all of Gbagyi extraction.

“One is also compelled to wonder why these protests are not being carried out against other universities located within the community, ” he added.



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