Professor James Ayatse, the Tor Tiv in Benue State has been appointed as new Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN).
Also, the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II was named as the Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano State.
The traditional rulers were among the 42 Chancellors of federal Universities across the Country as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
Recall that the position of a Chancellor is not just Ceremonial, but a personality who is saddled with various responsibilities including projecting a good image for the institution as well as canvassing and lobbying for the development of the institution.
Ayatse replaces the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Malam Sanusi Mohammad Lamido.
Sanusi was appointed Chancellor of the institution in 2015, but he was dethroned as Kano Emir by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on March 9, 2020 over irreconcilable differences.
But Sanusi performed his last official duty as Chancellor during the Convocation/Founders Day Ceremonies of the University in November 2019 when Prof. Faraday Orumwense was the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
Buhari who is the Visitor of all Federal government Universities as prescribed by relevant laws, spoke the minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu on Thursday in Abuja.
The government also approved the appointment of pro-Chancellors and Chairmen of Councils of 23 Federal Universities and four inter-University Centres to either replace those whose tenure have elapsed or have died.
Similarly, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, the Etsu Nupe as Chancellor; University of Abuja has Dr Rilwan Adamu, the Emir of Bauchi; University of Agriculture, Makurdi has Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, the Emir of Ilorin; University of Calabar has Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano; and University of Ibadan has Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, as Chancellor.
A former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, was re-appointed as Pro-chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Furthermore, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Obi Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha; Alex Ekwueme University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland.
Others are: Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, King W.S. Joshua, the Ibenanawei of Bomo Kingdom; Federal University Gashua, Yobe State, Professor Chike Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba; Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, HRH Ezeogo Ewa Elechi, The Isu-Oha I of Ohaisu Kingdom.
Others include, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Shekarau Angyu, the Uka of Wukari; Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State, Alhaji (Dr.) Mohammadu Abali ibn Mohammed Idris, The Emir of Fika; Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, the Attah Igala; Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ebidem Ekpo Okon, the Obong of Calabar; Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland.
The Federal University of Technology, Akure has Alhaji Umar Kabir Umar, the Emir of Katagum; Federal University of Technology, Minna Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, the Deji of Akure; Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja jeki, the Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom; Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa, the Ona of Abaji; Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, the Obi of Obinugwu and Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, Igwe Lawrence Agbubuzu, the Ezema of Olo Kingdom.
Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa has Alhaji Sidi Bage Muhammad, the Emir of Lafia as its Chancellor;; Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike has Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar, the Emir of Gombe as Chancellor; Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, has Dr Uwa Umoh Adiaka, the Ekporikpo of Obot; National Open University of Nigeria has Agabaidu Elias Obekpa, the Ochi Idoma and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has Da Jacob Gyang Buba, the Gbong Gwon Jos.
The University of Ilorin has Alhaji (Dr.) AbdulMumini Kabir Usman, the Emir of Katsina as chancellor; University of Jos, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamali the Emir of Zazzau; University of Lagos has Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar el-Kanemi, the Shehu of Borno; University of Maiduguri, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo and University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife.
University of Port-Harcourt has Alhaji Muhammadu Ilyasu Bashar, the Emir of Gwandu; University of Uyo, Alhaji (Dr.) Adamu Abubakar Maje, the Emir of Hadejia; Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos; University of Health Sciences, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammed Ahmed, the Emir of Zamfara; Nigerian Army University, Biu, HRM Felix Mujakperuo, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom.
Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, has King Alfred Papapereye Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass and Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru, Eze Eberechi Dick, the Eze Uudo of Mgboko Ngwa, Amaise.
Speaking at the Press Conference on Thursday in Abuja, the minister said the initiative is part of efforts to strengthen the institutions for effective service delivery for national development and global competitiveness.
He said: “You will recall that following the approval of the President and Visitor to Federal tertiary Institutions, I inaugurated Visitation Panels to all tertiary institutions in April 2021.
“The president has, following the establishment of additional Universities, approved the appointment and/or reassignment of chancellors to 42 federal Universities.
“The exercise is intended to also replace deceased Chancellors of some federal Universities.
“As royal fathers, these chancellors are expected to be the moral compass of the various Universities to which they are assigned.
“They have been taken from their kKingdoms and primary Constituencies to other Kingdoms and these appointments are expected to play a role in cementing relationships between Communities in the Country.”