Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 14 December 2015 | 3,313 times
The Federal Government has waded into the crisis rocking the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) which has pitched some members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) against the out-going Vice Chancellor, Prof. Hillary Edeoga.
The crisis, which errupted early this year, saw the leadership of ASUU branch of MOUAU and some other aggrieved members rising against Prof. Edeoga, accusing him of high-handedness, corruption and favouritism, among others.
It was initially believed that the struggle for the position of a new Vice Chancellor to succeed Edeoga was at the centre of the crisis as the aggrieved teachers accused him (Edeoga) of causing appointments and promotions that put potential aspirants from the institution at a disadvantage.
However, Edeoga, at various fora, has maintained that he is innocent of the allegations against him by the aggrieved ASUU members, explaining that enforcement of discipline was the root cause of the “pull-Edeoga-down” saga.
At a valedictory press briefing last Wednesday, Edeoga revealed that one of the ASUU leaders in the instition adopted a strange examination scoring formula which saw the awarding a disproportionate mark of 40 percent over 30 per cent (40/30%) to a female student.
He said the matter was referred to the appropriate committee which investigated the issue and found the lecturer culpable and sanctioned him accordingly. Edeoga said rather than accept the sanction, the lecturer not only dragged the instruction to court but resorted to whipping up sentiments and blackmailing him.
However, at the 7th Convocation ceremony of the institution held at the weekened, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, who stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari announced that a ministerial committee has been put in place to investigate the crisis.
“Government is aware of some misunderstanding between management and some staff in this university. In that wise, I am glad to announce a ministerial committee has been set up to look into such issues and submit the recommendations within 10 days,” Anwuka said.
“They (Ministerial Committee members) are expected in this university any time from now. I will imagine that the administration, and staff and students will give maximum cooperation to the committee. Similar action is on going in nine federal universities nationwide,” he added.
Edeoga had before concluding his Convocation address praised the Federal Government for taking such a step, adding that it would afford one who has been maligned to give his version of the matter.
The crisis, which has polarised the university community, has the potential of plunging the institution into chaos but the school has remained peaceful with academic activities going on smoothly.
•Photo shows out-going MOUAU VC, Prof. Edeoga.
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