24 May 2012

Nigeria: Jonathan Orders Purge of Unqualified University of Abuja Students

President Goodluck Jonathan has directed Education Minister Ruqayyatu Rufai and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to rusticate University of Abuja students that do not have basic qualification for admission into the university and those involved in anti-social activities like protest and cultism.

Jonathan, who described them as "political students," said he gave the directive Tuesday after meeting with the minister and officials of the NUC in Abuja over the lingering crisis that has been bedevilling the university.

Students of the university recently staged protest in April over the suspension of three programmes-Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Engineering by the Federal Government.

Jonathan disclosed the directive yesterday during the swearing in ceremony of Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir as the new Minister representing Sokoto State in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Chairman and five members of the Federal Civil Service Commission were also yesterday sworn-in by Jonathan at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja. The ceremony preceded the weekly FEC meeting.

Speaking against the persistent lack of consideration for merit in the offer of employment especially in the civil service, Jonathan said the menace had permeated the education sector too.

He said one of the causes of the lingering crisis at the University of Abuja, was the admission of unqualified students with backings of politicians.

He said, "Only yesterday (Tuesday) we had a meeting with the Education Minister where we looked into the situation at the University of Abuja because of the crisis. The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission said one of the problems of the University of Abuja is that there are some students who do not have the basic qualifications to be admitted but they are there as undergraduates.

And I said they must be political students. They must be students that we politicians pushed in and I told the minister that they must set up a committee to send the political students back to us.

"We cannot allow universities to be taken over by political students. These are the kinds of students that create confusion and all kinds of cult groups because they cannot cope with the academic challenges. So, to be relevant, they have to engage in all kinds of anti-social behaviours."

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