Orji Uzor Kalu
Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
As the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, rues his new status as non-graduate of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU) following the withdrawal of his degree certificate in Government and Public Administration, the state government yesterday said it had no hand in the scandal.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, absolved government from the action of ABSU Senate which had on Friday revoked Kalu’s certificate, saying the authorities of the state owned university does not take orders from the government.
He told a press conference that Kalu was wrong to have linked government to his ordeal thereby undermining ABSU’s status as an independent institution which handles its affairs through its administrative machinery devoid of government interference.
Chikamnayo, who reacted angrily to the former governor allegation that ABSU Senate merely acted a written script by government, advised Kalu to sort out the matter with the university authorities and if he deemed it necessary should seek legal redress instead of waging a smear campaign against the government.
He insisted that ABSU Senate, comprising men and women of integrity and well experienced professionals in various fields, took its action based on the extant laws governing the institution, which was violated in the admission and award of degree certificate to Kalu.
Meanwhile, the Information Commissioner has also debunked the claims that Kalu’s aide, Pastor Chukwudi Okoroafor, escaped assassination attempt at the gate of Kalu’s Camp Neya Estate at Igbere.
He described the purported shooting incident at the gate of Camp Neya as “a fabrication from the pit of hell which only happened at the gate of his cerebral imagination,” adding that the ruse was aimed at diverting attention and evoking sympathy over Kalu’s certificate scandal. Spokesman of the state police command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said the police was yet to receive any report on the shooting incident.
Chikamnayo also accused the former presidential candidate of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) of planning to incite ABSU students to embark on protests in order to disrupt the prevailing peace in the state.
He therefore warned that government would not fold its hands and allow “disgruntled politicians” to drag the state back to the dark days of insecurity and criminality.