VC Stool Tears Imo University Apart


The appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor for the Imo State University, Owerri has thrown the institution into crisis as various stakeholders have been polarized into camps over the matter. gathered that the Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie has been making moves to get confirmed for the position despite the fact that he does not have a PhD degree.

Awuzie who is a former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on war path with most members of IMSUs Governing Council over the running of the institution and plans to succeed himself.

A member of the Governing Council who spoke on the condition of anonymity told that the Acting VC has on several occasions threatened to deal with a member of the council, Barr. T.I Igwe over the latters insistence that due process must be followed in the running the university as well as the process of appointing a substantive VC.

The University had last year advertised for application from suitably qualified candidates for the position but the process has continue to linger as Awuzie has insisted that the possession of a PhD degree is not prerequisite for being a Vice Chancellor. This has caused disagreement between him and members of the IMSU Governing Council who oppose his stand on the issue. Others accuse him of scheming to cut corners to emerge substantive VC at all costs.

As the situation has polarized IMSU into two camps; those in support and against Awuzies ambition to emerge substantive VC, Igwe and his camp has reminded the latter about an agreement he was said to have endorsed during his tenure as ASUU president stating that no Acting VC should stay more than six months in office. Awuzie has been in office as IMSUs Acting VC since 2012.

Igwe, who insisted the possession of a Phd is compulsory for a substantive VC, also leads the camp of stakeholders who wants the case instituted by the ousted VC of the university, Prof. Innocent Okonkwo to be settled before the appointment of a substantive VC in IMSU.

Okonkwos case is still pending at the Appeal Court. The lower court has quashed his indictment contained in a government gazette leading to the former VC seeking reinstatement.

Recall that ex- Gov. Ikedi Ohakims administration had in 2008 ordered Okonkwo to proceed on a three months accumulated leave which he is yet to be allowed to resume till date.

On the strength of Okonkwos bid to return as VC, Awuzie insisted that IMSU cannot have a substantive VC until the matter in court is disposed off.

A source within the institution alleged that these are part of the of the former ASUU president to hold on to his position as Acting VC. The source further added that the state government appears not to have made its mind on the issue as repeated petitions to the state governor and Visitor of the institution, Owelle. Rochas Okorocha has failed to yield fruit.