Youths from Abia State have marched in protest to demand that an Abia indigene be made the next Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike.
The Youths, comprising members of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), Niger Delta students Union Government (NIGSUG), among others, marched round the University premises, demanding that the governing Council declares a qualified Abia indigene the next VC of the institution.
As at the time of the protest, the University’s governing Council was meeting as part of processes to elect who becomes the next vice Chancellor.
The student leaders, including Chibuzo Ndom who is the special adviser to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on student matters, Cokey Nwachukwu, Coordinator Abia Youths, Kingsley Dozie, National Vice President of the OYC and Cyril Samuel for NANS and NIDSUG, said any Vice Chancellor who is not of Abia origin will not be acceptable.
Addressing the protesters, the Chairman of Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Lawal Zayana, said it was the wish of the Council for an Abia indigene to emerge the next vice Chancellor, but maintained that due process must be followed
“It is our wish that an Abia indigene emerge the next vice Chancellor.”
“Presently, we are still working to pick who is going to be the first, the second and the third best among all the candidates and we are praying that an indigene of Abia becomes the first.”
“But, you know we are following procedures in the selection. They undergo exams, presented their documents, and we assess them.”
“We are going to be fair, without favour to anybody, but our prayer is that an Abian will become the next VC.”
“We are together with you, and our prayer is that an Abian becomes the next VC, but our hands are tied.”
Recall that the last four successive vice Chancellors of the University after the pioneer VC who was from Abia, were not Abia indigenes.