The immediate-past Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has said his voluntary resignation from the commission was to fulfil his ambition of achieving the status of Professor Emeritus at the Bayero University Kano (BUK), which he cannot achieve if he remains in office till the end of his tenure in 2026.
Rasheed made the revelation in Abuja at a brief handover ceremony held at the commission’s headquarters.
According to him, “I was first appointed in August 2016 for five years, subject to renewal. I was reappointed in 2021 for another five years at the end of the first tenure to terminate in 2026. But I never wanted to return to the job when I was reappointed in 2021.
“I had returned to the classroom at Bayero University Kano (BUK) and had even engaged in academic activities. I was already teaching when the reappointment letter came. I had no option but to return to NUC. I never made it public. I was only informed by the boss that I will still return to the classroom. “In BUK, a professor is expected to retire at 70. But for a professor to be recognised as Professor Emeritus, he or she must retire from the school. Any retirement outside the classroom won’t be recognised.
“I am not yet 70, but I don’t want to retire anywhere outside the university. This is because I have the ambition to become Professor Emeritus, and in our university, you can only attend that if you retire from the classroom. That’s the only way you will be recognised as a Professor Emeritus.
“So, I can’t stay in Abuja within the circle of political power and forget that age 70 is fast approaching. I am not expected to retire outside the university, and as I return to the university I expect them to recognise me as Professor Emeritus. The process is that I have to return to the classroom and engage in academic activities, and then retire when it’s time.
“However, I had written to the former President, Muhammadu Buhari, through the immediate-past Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, for me to be allowed to voluntarily step down as NUC executive secretary.
“The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejoh, conveyed the response of the president on June 1, 2023, accepting my resignation, and I am happy that I am going back to Kano to continue academic activities in BUK.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Executive Secretary of NUC, Mr. Chris Maiyaki, has formally taken over the affairs of the NUC from Rasheed in an acting capacity pending the appointment of a substantive executive secretary by President, Ahmed Tinubu. He promised to continue to pilot the affairs of NUC in line with the standards already set by Rasheed.