From Felix Ikem, Nsukka

No fewer than 1000 youths from Enugu North Senatorial District of Enugu State on Wednesday protested what they alleged to be a secret plan by Prof. Charles Igwe, the outgoing Vice-chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)  to install his successor secretly.

The youths who started the peaceful protest from Total Roundabout, Nsukka, through the university road to UNN main gate, were heard chanting, “Igwe why did you cancel the UNN  Senate meeting fixed today to select the person that you will hand over to”.

The youths were also bearing placards with different inscriptions such as; “VC hand over to the most senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

“Why was the special senate meeting scheduled today cancelled?

“VC respect Nsukka land. Enough is enough, do the right thing now.

“Honour the Minister’s Directive.

“Enugu people will not accept imposition,” among others.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the protest at UNN’s first gate, Mr. Roy Ekwueme, President of Nsukka Youth General Assembly (NYGA) said that the protest was to convey their disappointment on the indefinite cancellation of the scheduled UNN senate meeting to select who the outgoing VC would hand over to.

“It is unfortunate that the UNN senate meeting scheduled to take place today (5th June) was cancelled indefinitely, whereas the outgoing VC’s tenure will end on June 10th.

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“If the senate is not sitting to recommend who Igwe will hand over to, what it means is that there is a secret plan by the outgoing VC to select any person of his choice to succeed him.

“Igwe knows that if the right thing is done, Prof Johnson Urama, Deputy VC Academic who is from Nsukka will be the right person to be handed over to as the most senior Deputy vice-chancellor.

“We are surprised that Igwe who was born and brought up in Nsukka appeared to be planning to short-change Nsukka people,” he said.

The NYGA president who explained that the directives from the National University Commission (NUC) and Federal Ministry of Education on this regard have been obeyed by other public universities in the country and wondered why the UNN case will be different.

“In other universities with similar cases, their senate has sat and recommended the most senior Deputy vice-chancellor for the outgoing to handover, but I don’t know why UNN case will be different.

“We are not asking Igwe to do any favour to us, but he should do the right thing as directed by NUC and federal ministry of education.

“If Igwe goes ahead to do the wrong thing, Nsukka people will explore every legal avenue to seek redress,” he said.

Efforts to get a reaction from the outgoing VC (Igwe) were not successful as calls and text messages to his mobile phone number were not replied to at the time of filing this report

However, when contacted, Chief Okwun Omeaku, the Public Relations Office of UNN said that he does not know who is feeding the youths with false information.

Meanwhile, UNN Security personnels mounted heavy security at university main gate to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order during the protest.


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