MOUAU crisis: Parents demand probe of Edeoga

Zenith

Aggrieved parents of students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, have petitioned the Governing Council of the institution, demanding the holistic probe of the tenure of the former Vice Chancellor, Prof Hilary Edeoga.

Specifically, they want the Council to investigate Edeoga between March 2011 and March 2016, ascertain the process that led to the promotion of some professors, extortion of money from students and award of contracts.

While acknowledging that anti-graft agencies have waded into the issue to handle the criminal aspect of the former VC’s misdeeds, the parents urged the Council to administratively reverse all the policy somersaults foisted on the institution by Edeoga.

In the petition to the Council signed by the Chairman of the association, Obinna Nwankwo, the aggrieved parents decried what they described as the total rape of MOUAU by Edeoga, which made it impossible for the new administration to fully discharge its financial obligations to workers since 2016.

They commended the Council for its “boldness and courage” in tackling the endemic corrupt system foisted by the former V.C, but insisted that only a thorough probe of the entire tenure will expose the rot perpetrated by the Edeoga-led leadership.

They noted that most of the staff who were employed illegally were recruited between 2011 and 2015 while the few which the Council ordered their disengagement only got employed in 2016.

According to them, those the Council asked to go are merely junior workers of Abia State extraction who were employed illegally on Edeoga’s last day in office, while the bulk of the illegal employees who constitute 60 percent of the senior staff are Edeoga’s cronies anchored on nepotism.

The parents insisted that the only way the Rt. Hon Lawal Zayyana’s led Governing Council could do justice to all concerned was for them to dismiss all categories of staff employed illegally in the school between March 2011 and March 2016.

Also they noted that Edeoga arrested and detained some of their leaders in 2016 for opposing his leadership based on favoritism which left MOUAU in a sorry state.

“Hon. Chairman Sir, this man arrested us unjustly because we opposed his evil deeds. We took him to court and we defeated him. We also wrote a petition to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria detailing his atrocities. He should not be allowed to go scot-free,” they wrote.

They said that the height of Edeoga’s impunity was the unilateral promotion of his cronies into the rank of Professorship. The main criteria he used according to them were being from his state of origin (Enugu) as well as paying your way through, thus desecrating the academic values of MOUAU”.

The angry parents lamented that some of their wards have not been able to mobilize to the national youth service “because they read a different Course and were issued with different results from entirely unrelated courses”.

“Never in the history of academics has a man descended so low to destroy the values of an Institution. It will take decades to clear the mess left by Prof Edeoga” they insisted.

“The bloated workforce dominated by Edeoga’s relations, the deliberate lowering of academic standard to favour cronies, the extortion of students under various guises, the manipulation of promotion exercises and general maladministration instituted by the former VC must be dismantled for MOUAU to breathe again”, they submitted.

They were, however, happy with the incumbent Vice Chancellor Prof Ogbonnaya Otunta whom they praised for his discipline, administrative capacity and humane disposition in handling the affairs of the school.

They expressed confidence in the ability of Rt. Hon Lawal Zayyana, as Chairman, to lead the Council to restore the loss glory of MOUAU for the benefit of Abia people and Nigerians.