A Kaduna State University (KASU) lecturer, Dr. John Danfulani, has been suspended from the institution following a post he made on Facebook in December 2015. In his writing, the Senior lecturer gave vent to the Nigerian president, Northern leaders, the entire supporters of All Progressive Congress, APC, and also made mockery of the huge figures of children who dropped out of school in the north.
In the controversial Facebook post which was widely spread among Kaduna dwellers and now fast circulating in the country, he tagged APC a religious party and described to the Northern leaders under the party as demigods. See the post below:
Even though he deleted his Facebook page, the University queried Mr. Danfulani, after criticisms surged in, stating that,
The content of the publication you authored is divisive, injurious to the University and tantamount to hate speech capable of inciting particular group of students against staff and other students. This behaviour is unbecoming of a lecturer who is supposed to mould students’ character and impart learning.
In the query letter signed by the Registrar of the school, Mrs. Talatu A. Kuri, and dated 5th January, Dr. John Danfulani was asked to give an explanation on why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for the comment he posted on the social media and this was what he had to say,
It is a large world of dozens of platforms, most of which are yet to be in full practice in Nigeria. I have pages that upload my opinions on multifaceted local and international issues when my conscience and spirit direct me to do so. Because of this, I do not know on which of the platforms the piece that generated this query was hoisted because your query did not contain such details.
He also added,
My wall, updates and writings on social media are all in my private capacity and not in my official capacity as a Lecturer with the University.
The university authority was however not contented with his feedback and consequently, information about his suspension was relayed to him through the Registrar on 8th of January.
The letter reads:
We refer to our letter of query dated 5th January, 2016, requesting you to explain within 48 hours why disciplinary action will not be taken against you for gross misconduct and confirm that you failed to respond.
In line with S15 (1) 4 of KASU staff Conditions of Service, the Vice Chancellor has suspended you from duty forthwith and will report the matter to Council.
You will be placed on half salary as per S15 (1)7 of KASU staff conditions of Service, until the Council considers and decides on your case please.
In a recent development on the matter, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, (CP) Umar Kofar-Naisa, has given an order to the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Willaims Quirix, to provide the highly vocal Political Science lecturer, Dr. John Danfulani over the post he put up on Facebook. In the letter signed by the CP and dated 21st January, 2015, with reference- CR: 000/KDS/X/D6/Vol.82/150, the CP said,
This Department is investigating the above mentioned case involving one of your lecturers, Dr. John Danfulani. You are kindly requested to release him to interview the undersigned through O/C General Surveillance State SCIID Kaduna on 25/01/2006 at about 1000hrs to enable us complete our investigation.
Accept the assurance of the Command’s continuous regard, please.
Meanwhile, a group known as Nerzit Patriotic Front, has protested against Danfulani’s suspension asking the University authority to call him back or face a law suit. The group faulted KASU and the state government for “persecuting Dr. John Danfulani because he holds a different political ideology, ethnic and religious learning with the government of the day if the institution goes ahead to comply with the police order.”
The Chairman of the group George Makeri while addressing newsmen in a press conference held in Kaduna on Tuesday, as written in National Daily Newspaper said,
KASU should resist the temptation of involving itself into matters outside its jurisdiction.
Ideological leanings, political preferences, religious beliefs and personal life of its workers should not be their concern. What they should focus on is, productivity of employees; the value they are adding to the system vis –a-vis the aim of the institution.On the strength of our observations, we hereby beseech KASU to immediately withdraw its suspension and bury its intentions to victimise Dr. John Danfulani further because of his Faith and ethnic background.If this suspension stands, we shall go ahead and take all legal measure and pressure to see that this ethnic-centered agenda don’t stand. KASU is for all, not for any particular ethnic or religious group. We will indefatigably resist injustice of any form against the doctor.
Describing the personality of John Danfulani in a post on Facebook, Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani had this to say,
Dr John Danfulani;I know Dr John as far back as 1993,when he was President of the student Union Government of ABU zaria.When I called for a mass protest and civil disobedience against the military dictatorship of IBB in Kaduna, in synergy with our comrades in lagos,Dr John also raised the fist of struggle.
In the face of arrests,detention and physical assault by the military regime against the forces of freedom,Dr John never wavered or faltered.This was at a time when some of our comrades cowardly gave up the struggle out of fear of been killed by soldiers or thrown to jail.
Dr John is a man of conviction and principles.He remain consistent over the years even before the name of many of today’s political players name were heard of.In the the run up to 2015 general elections,He campaigned vigorously to dislodge the PDP and entrenched the APC in southern kaduna.
Dr John is a man of conscience;Late chief Gani once described Dr John as a courageous man,allergic to injustice and who can never be silenced.Dr John was one of the moral pillars who fought and freed Nigeria from military rule and restored democracy back to our country.Dr John right to freedom of expression is inviolable. Any assault on Dr John for his opinion is an assault on free speech.