MY APPOINTMENT WASN'T POLITICAL COMPENSATION, SAY EX-VC

By NBF NEWS
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Former Vice-Chancellor of the Anambra State University, Prof. Ifeanacho Orajaka, on Thursday declared that his appointment to head the university five years ago was not a political compensation.

Orajaka said this while handing over to the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Chukwunenye Anene, at the Uli Main Campus of the university.

The ceremony was witnessed by the deans of faculties and members of the management team of the university.

Orajaka was apparently referring to insinuations that a former governor of the state, Dr. Chris Ngige, appointed him as vice-chancellor of the state university to compensate him for being the returning officer that announced him winner of the flawed 2003 governorship election.

The incumbent governor, Peter Obi, had to spend three years in court fighting to reverse the result declared by Orajaka.

But rather than remove Orajaka last year after his first term of four years expired, Obi extended his tenure by one year. Orajaka was yet to complete the extra year when he was removed last week via an announcement by the state Ministry of Education.

Orajaka said his appointment was informed by the fact that he was very knowledgeable about the university, which he said co-founded.

He recalled how as chairman of the governing council of the institution when it was a polytechnic, he fought with Prof. Tim Umeasiegbu to upgrade it to a university.

He also recalled that he was a member of the planning committee for the establishment of the university and would have been its first governing council chairman but for political reasons.

Orajaka, who is retuning to his post at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka said that he was proud that he was able to lift the university.

The handover came amidst speculations that the former vice-chancellor was not willing to vacate his post after he was removed without notice by the Anambra State Government last week.

The change of baton at the university was done even as there was confusion about when his tenure of would expire.

Though he was appointed to run a renewable tenure of four years in 2005, a new law making the tenure to run a non-renewable term of five years was enacted in January 2006.

As such, a camp in the university was expecting Orajaka to be the first beneficiary of the new tenure, which would have made him serve till January 2011.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Anene said he would do his best. He solicited the cooperation of all members of the institution and promised that bright days were ahead for all the stakeholders of the university.

He said he would make the welfare of students and staff his priority