Amby Uneze in Owerri
The establishment of the new Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences by the out-going government of Chief Rochas Okorocha is creating concern among the communities of its original siting and the new area where it had suddenly been relocated over the criteria for the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor.
A group of Concerned Imo State Elites (CISE) yesterday raised the alarm over the doctoring of the Imo State Law No.4 of 2019 that established the University Permanent site and headquarters at the premises of the long acquired site of Imo State University by the Sam Mbakwe administration at Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala axis.
The group in a communique signed by Chief Chike Amadi as its convener also frowned at the appointment of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Akanwa who is a Professor of Management Sciences instead of a Professor that majors in pure Sciences since the university is a pure agricultural and environmental science oriented.
According to the group, “information at our disposal indicated that ethnic sentiments must have played out in the appointment of the vice chancellor, as the governor cancelled the name of a person who came first in the interview and whose records and capacity to nurture the new university to greatness is not in doubt, even though the fellow’s capability had been tested elsewhere.
“We demand the Governor to urgently return the university headquarters/administrative site back to Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala area while the site for the former Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo retains her Agricultural headquarters since Ohaji/Egbema is noted for being the food-basket of the state right from the first republic.
“It is also pertinent for the government to refer to the paragraph 3 (1) of the Advertisement for Vacancy for the post of Vice Chancellor in Daily Sun of Monday, March 25, 2019 on page 13 “The Applicant must be a professor in a related discipline of not less than 8 year,” the group demanded.
However, some youths from Ohaji, the landords of the Imo State Polytechnics, Umuagwo are protesting the relocation of the polytechnic to Ehime Mbano local government in Okigwe senatorial zone.
Reacting to their protest, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemeodo described the action of the youths as “unfortunate and misinformed”, adding “It is very unfortunate that some enemies of the state have decided to play politics with everything including the development and progress of the state and her people, otherwise why would any group sponsor needless protest against the new university, which its operational licence has been got and everything needed for its take-off has been put in place.
“The government had few days ago explained that, following the establishment of the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the premises of the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo with Campus at Aboh/Ngor, the Imo State Polytechnic has been relocated to Ehime Mbano with a Campus at the Site of Ahiara Trade Centre now renamed a Polytechnic, Ahiazu Mbaise,” he stated.