From Obinna Moses, Umuahia:
Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUAU), Umudike, Professor Francis Otunta has said that more than five professors whose promotions were questionable but approved by the immediate past Vice Chancellor have been demoted by the current management in order to sanitize the institution. Otunta, stated this during the 8th Convocation and Silver Jubilee of the institution held recently at the University’s convocation arena.
He noted that their promotions were” more political instead of pure academic exercise” noting that their unwarranted promotions brought the image of the institution into disrepute and ridicule.
The VC who is a Professor of Mathematics made it clear that his administration was ready to step on toes in order to put the institution in proper perspective where due process reigns supreme.
Professor Otunta stated that a total of 4,958 students graduated for 2017 set while 98 of them bagged First class , while ,1,437 made Second class ;while 1,276 were in third class. He said that 36 obtained ordinary pass.
In his address, the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, condemned the closure of some departments in MOUAU a directive from the Federal Government who mandated that the three universities of agriculture across the country should revert to their core mandate courses.
The governor used the occasion to advise the Federal Government to take a cue from foreign universities saying,
“As Abia citizens, our desire would have been for this university to continue to train our children in different areas of academics, irrespective of their inclinations.
“This is because we do not have any other federal institution that can fill the gap except this great institution. Global challenges of survival faced by graduates of such institutions would require the dynamics of training in all fields of human endeavour in a comprehensive curricula to enable them to perform better.”
He said that Nigeria should emulate other world renowned universities, which were established for specific disciplines but also teach courses that were not only ancillary to their core mandate but help to produce all-round graduates. “You cannot be a proper graduate if you do not know a bit of everything.”
He however lauded president Buhari for focusing on agriculture as a way of shifting from the country’s dependence on oil, adding that Abia state has keyed into the federal government Agric policy.
He further appreciated Otunta, for taking the university to a greater height.
In this address, the Pro chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council Rt. Honourable Muhammad Lawal Zayyana appealed to the Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation to the university, especially through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TERTFUND, to enable it embark on further infrastructural development.
The pro chancellor disclosed that it was not the wish of the University to sack the over 400 academic and nonacademic staff this year adding that the immediate past vice chancellor without recourse made a lot of employment that bloated the wage bill and the university find it difficult to pay salaries.