The Chairman Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi Branch, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa said the Vice-Chancellor of his university Professor Muhammad Abdulaziz did not consult the union before issuing a congratulatory message on Pantami’s “questionable” professorial appointment.
Dr Ibrahim while addressing journalists at the Union Secretariat on Thursday in Bauchi said Patami’s appointment is shrouded in “a lot of controversies.”
Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy bagged the professorial appointment at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri where he had no prior record of academic footprint.
ATBU is Pantami’s alma mater and where he started his academic career as a lecturer.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mohammad Abdulaziz had in a letter, congratulated Mr Pantami “on behalf of management, staff and students of the School”
The academic union however distanced itself from the congratulatory letter, arguing that the VC did not consult them before congratulating the Minister.
“We had congress on November 4th, and we agreed that we should dissociate ourselves from that congratulatory message written by the VC. We have a disclaimer to that effect,” the ASUU Chairman said.
“Appointing somebody to the rank of professor follows some procedures, to some extent we are convinced that these procedures are exhaustively followed, it is still questionable. But if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt we don’t have an option other than to acknowledge it but for now, we are not convinced,” Inuwa explained
“In the case of the Minister, his last appointment in a university, Saudi Arabia was as an assistant professor –is a nomenclature that is used by the Americans. Assistant professor is equivalent to a senior lecturer in Commonwealth countries.
“As a senior lecturer, you are supposed to satisfy a waiting period of three years. You must have some publications locally and internationally. One must have attended conferences and presented papers, one must have been involved in teaching undergraduates and postgraduates – depending on the conditions of service of a university to become an associate professor (reader).
“What we heard about the Minister is that he’s an assistant professor. The year he left for Saudi Arabia, he claimed that he’s an associate professor, that he applied to them as an associate professor but unfortunately, when they were referring people to check his publications online he forgot to remove a journal that captured him as an assistant professor.”
Inuwa said an assistant professor must satisfy a waiting period of three years, graduate postgraduate students, involved in university administration, must have been involved in community service.
He added that teaching quality and style are part of the assessment required to rise to professorial rank. He said that the minister was not in the academic environment within the period and could not have been qualified for that appointment.
Pantami’s appointment as professor of Cyber Security has sparked several debates from across different divides with many arguing against the appointment.
When contacted by WikkiTimes, the VC of the University, Professor Abdulaziz declined to comment on the subject.