By Emeka MAMAH, Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has decried the lingering rancor at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, over the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor for the school.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the ABU Governing Council, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, recently resigned his appointment over the matter.
In a communiquÃ© at the end of its National Working Committee meeting in Kaduna yesterday, the ACF regretted further the ethno-religious sentiments within the university community and asked the relevant authorities to handle the issue with caution.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, signed the communiquÃ© which read in part,Â â€œthe ACF is deeply saddened to learn that the dispute over the appointment of Vice Chancellor is being fueled by religious and ethnic sentiments of different groups.
â€œThis is clearly a disservice to the proud history of ABU as a citadel not only of learning, but of religious and ethnic tolerance and accommodation.
â€œThere is hardly any other university in Nigeria or Africa that easily matches the record set by ABU in the diversity of its student population, its faculty members and even more remarkably, its past Vice Chancellors.
â€œThe University has managed to live down religion and tribe as determining factors for admission, appointments and promotion. The legacy should be maintained for the universityâ€™s sake and for the sake of the vast members of its stakeholdersâ€.
â€œThe situation in the university is not and cannot be more than a mere quarrel among brothers. Dialogue and a spirit of accommodation will clear it if all parties embrace it. Nothing less will do or is acceptable.â€
The ACF commended the Northern Governors Forum overÂ the decision of the governors to pay their counterpart funding for the Universal Basic Education conditional grant scheme.
â€œEducation is not a matter of option or convenience since no amount of sacrifice could be too much for the education of our children who are leaders of tomorrow.
â€œPayment of the counterpart funds will greatly improve the standard of education in the country,â€ the ACF noted.