By Chuks Ekpeneru
Senator Rochas Okorocha has accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of stealing the credit for the establishment of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo affirming that the concept belonged to him.
Okorocha speaking through his Special Adviser, Media, Sam Onwuemeodo said in a statement that the claim by the present administration over the University is “not true and cannot be true, all things being equal”.
The statement said Senator Uzodinma must have been misquoted by his media aides over their reported claim on the status of the University.
According to the former governor, “This claim is not true and cannot be true, all things being equal. And we want to set the record straight.
“In a nutshell, Rochas Okorocha, as governor founded the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, which he located at the premises of Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, with campus at Aboh/Ngor-Okpala. While, the Umuagwo Polytechnic was relocated to Ehime Mbano. The protest by the academic staff union of the Polytechnic and some other interest groups, delayed the take-off of the University, until Okorocha left office.
The statement said that Senator Okorocha not only got the approval and licence of the University, he also appointed officials to administer same.
“He not only got the approval and the licence for the take-off of the University, but also appointed the Vice-Chancellor for the University, in the person of Prof. Peter Akanwa. He equally Constituted the Governing Council for the University, with Rev. Fr. Wence Madu as Chairman and Seven other members, including HRM Eze Thomas Obiefule. All these took place in April 2019.
“Aside the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Okorocha on May 7, 2019 also got the licences and approval for the take-off of three other Universities, namely, University of Creative Technology, Omuma, Isiaku in Nkwerre LGA, University of Medical Sciences, Ogboko in Ideato South LGA and University of Sciences and Technology, Umuna.
“In fact, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed Stated, while handing over the licences to Okorocha, that the three additional Universities “have been recognized as the 50th, 51st and 52nd State Universities respectively and as the 172nd, 173rd and 174th Universities in the nation’s University System also respectively, with effect from May 7, 2019.
“We have taken time to streamline our claims so that whoever has any other information in the Contrary, can come forward with it. Or, anybody with fresh licences for the Universities mentioned, to also come up with them.
“Governors and indeed, other Political leaders must always be humble enough to acknowledge and appreciate the achievements or the laudable programmes of their predecessors and take-off from there. Doing so, is where the true honour lies and won’t diminish them or the office they occupy. Honour should always be given to whom it is due. To do otherwise, is to say the least, not advisable or acceptable,” the statement added.