The Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, Prof. Tanko Ishaya recently received in audience Most Rev. Dr. Julius Yakubu Kundi, the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese who also doubles as the Chancellor of St. Albert Institute, Fayit, Fadan-Kagoma, Kaduna State.
During the visit which took place on 18 May, 2022, the Bishop, who was in the company of Fr. Dr. Emmanuel Faweh Kazah, his Vicar General (Pastoral) and Rector of the institute, disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate and to felicitate with Prof. Tanko Ishaya whom he described as “a gentleman, a man of integrity, a confidant and a friend.”
The Bishop added that although he doesn’t know the processes that led to the appointment of the Vice Chancellor, he believed that “the emergence of Prof. Tanko as the 10th substantive VC of the University of Jos is an eloquent testimony that God had vested him with the authority to govern for a purpose.”
Speaking further, the Prelate expressed appreciation to the management of the University for allowing him to partner with them, a partnership that is concretely demonstrated by the healthy affiliation of his Diocesan Institute with the University.
He emphasized that “the Diocese would be willing to collaborate even more deeply with the University by putting its priests and the staff of the institute who have the requisite qualifications at the service of the University.”
The Bishop seized the opportunity to express gratitude to the management of the University “for the facilitation of the mobilization of our students for the National Youth Service.”
On the state of the nation, Bishop Kundi lamented that “Nigeria is struggling to survive the onslaught of restiveness, hunger, violence and insecurity which disrupt the academic calendar of some institutions in the country and has upturned many lofty projects that are capable of transforming the nation.
The Bishop, however, expressed optimism that “in no distant time, the resilience of the people and the good will of many good people will triumph over the evil that has become ubiquitous in our nation.
In his remarks, the Rector of St. Albert, Rev. Fr. Dr. Emmanuel Faweh Kazah stated that “the emergence of Prof. Tanko as VC is a blessing to all Affiliated Institutions because he has a first hand information about all the challenges confronting them.”
The Rector used the occasion to request “for the establishment of a Philosophy Department by the mother Department” adding that “we have experts in Philosophy and Theology that have studied both at home and abroad that can partner with the University of Jos. I want to assure you that the search for personnel in this Department is not going to be an issue.”
He decried that the first set of graduating students in the institute were “at home for over five years before some of them got mobilized” and urged management to intervene in this regard.
The Rector disclosed that some Alumni of the institute who graduated with first class were retained as Graduate Assistants (G.As) noting that they are doing a very good job.
Dr. Kazah who thanked the VC for all he is doing for Affiliate Institutions also observed that “although St. Albert Institute has existed for only about ten years, as the youngest of all Affiliate Institutes, it is the only institution that is taking the lead in the Department of Religion and Philosophy.”
Responding, Prof. Tanko lauded the Bishop’s demonstration of humility which he said “is worthy of emulation” noting that “his visit is like Jesus Christ visiting the University.”
The VC thanked the Bishop for his congratulatory message over his appointment as the 10th Substantive VC of the University.
“I see my elevation to the status of Chief Executive Officer of the University as an act of God” the VC stressed.
Speaking further, he emphasized that, “it is important to note that although we have so many institutions that are affiliated to the University of Jos, only three are recognized by NUC at present and St. Albert is one of those.”
He assured that, “we will not rest on our oars until our relationships with the other Affiliate institutions are endorsed by NUC”.
The VC thanked the Chancellor and the management of St. Albert for “maintaining the standard and the processes that makes us stay as good partners in delivering our goods.”
He said “the University is open to discuss whatever challenges and trials the institute may have” noting that “the University of Jos is like a mother to all Affiliate institutions and it is its desire to see its ‘children’ establishing themselves.”
Hence, “we will do everything within our limit and mandate to make sure that we support you [St. Albert] to become what you want to become. When the time comes for St. Albert to transmute into a University, the Management of the University will provide an ad hoc committee that will assist the institute in the entire process.”
The VC also said, “the Philosophy programme has come a long way. We are receiving quite a lot of request on this particular programme. I have given the Department the mandate to unbundled the programme so that we can have an independent philosophy programme.
“The Department had already submitted the curriculum to the DVC Academic. But for the ASUU strike I am sure that the curriculum would have gone to the Senate. St Augustine’s Seminary is also keen to have the programme weaned from the Department of Religion.”
The VC assured that the University shall support the institute with respect to the expansion of St. Albert Institute’s programmes.
“We will make sure that you follow the right procedure in creating these programmes that you intend to roll out, provided that we are running them because, that is one of the conditions for allowing any eligible institution to run a particular programme.
“We would be able to provide a framework to you to expand History and International Relations, English and Linguistics and Religious Studies because we run them in our University” he explained.
Touching on the Accreditation exercise that took place at the University, the VC said, “we are happy that we had a good outing at the last Accreditation exercise. Thankfully, there is no one of the programmes that St. Albert is affiliated to that was affected.
He equally thanked the Bishop for his interest in the growth of the institute and pledged to continue to support the Rector and the Institute to grow from strength to strength.
It would be recalled that St. Albert Institute was founded by Most Rev. Joseph Danlami Bagobiri, the first Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, after due consultation with his Presbyteral Council as provided in Can. 127 CIC 1983 and was canonically erected with an Episcopal decree of erection on 8th April 2010.
During his frist visit to the University, Bishop Kundi assured the VC and the Management of the University, the continued prayers of the Diocese of Kafanchan.