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Crisis Rocks LRCN As Librarians’ Association Directs Members To Boycott Council

The interminable crisis rocking the Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) has taken a new dimension following the directive by the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) to its members to boycott the activities of the council.

President of the NLA, Dominic Omokaro, in a statement issued on Wednesday bemoaned what he described as the ‘anomaly’ happening in the council, following the assumption of office of a new acting registrar who is not a librarian.

The erstwhile acting Registrar of the council, Jafaar Wase, had on Tuesday retired and handed over the reins of the council to the director of finance and administration, Adetimi Adeyanju, who is not a librarian.

The association said it was an aberration for the LRCN as a professional regulatory agency to be headed by a non-librarian noting that such will not happen with other regulatory bodies such as the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria.

According to Omokaro, the council ought to have deferred to the Ministry of Education which could have seconded its Director of Library Services to oversee the affairs of the Council pending the appointment of a substantive Registrar.

He subsequently directed members of the association to, with immediate effect, stop any further participation in every activity of the Council including the induction ceremony until a librarian is appointed to run the affairs of the Council.

The NLA president added that the association would deploy other strategies to seek redress if after 2 weeks the Federal Government does not do the needful.

The statement read, “The attention of the leadership of the Nigerian Library Association has been drawn to the anomaly that happened at the librarian’s Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) yesterday when the Ag. Registrar of the Council retired having attained the statutory age of 60 and in accordance with the PSR decided to hand over to the most senior Director who unfortunately is not a librarian.

“We see this as an aberration considering the fact that LRCN is a professional regulatory agency and would be out of place for a non librarian to be so considered to be at the helm of affairs to regulate the profession of librarianship in Nigeria. This will not happen with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, COREN, Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria etc.

“We shall deploy other strategies to seek redress if after 2 weeks the Federal Government does not do the needful. This is not a threat to the FGN but an internal circular to our members and for the information of the President of APBN.” the statement added.

Section 7(1) of the act establishing the LRCN stipulates that only a librarian with 10 years of experience can head the council.

“It shall be the duty of the Council to appoint as the Registrar for the purposes of this Act, a fit and proper person having not less than ten years experience as a qualified librarian,” the act reads

Recall that THE WHISTLER had reported the several petitions against the Wase-led council including one sent to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) over allegations of fraud and promotion rackteering in September 2022.

In December, the House of Representatives opened a probe into the council’s activities following allegations of funds diversion and misappropriation, not much has been heard of the probe. It is worth noting that the former acting registrar is a close relation of the deputy speaker of the lower chamber.

In another petition addressed to the minister of education in March, 2023, it was alleged that staff members of the council were absconding from work due to the high-handedness of the new acting registrar, Adeyanju.

This website understands that Adeyanju was a party in all the petitions against the former acting registrar.

In one of the petitions, Wase was accused of plotting to impose a successor with the conduct of a ‘shody and hasty’ promotion exam which ensured that Adeyanju was the most senior director in the council few months to his retirement.

Credible sources confirm to THE WHISTLER that the numerous petitions against the council may not have made it to the table of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, because Wase is connected to people in the minister’s office who do not allow them to get to the minister.

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