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Posts tagged ‘Enugu’

Besieged by the Police By Okey Ndibe.


 

Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

President Goodluck Jonathan is notorious for moving at slower than the speed of a snail when called upon to address issues that rather demand alacrity. Yet, Nigerians are besieged by a terrible plague that Mr. Jonathan can—and should—address immediately. It’s the plague of the “privatized,” lawless police.

Last week, a friend telephoned me from Lagos. Alarmed by his dispirited tone, I feared that something grave had happened. He acknowledged that he was downcast. “It’s about the way that the police are now used,” he explained. “Anybody with some money or political contact can buy himself a few police officers. They then use these officers to harass people everywhere, including in traffic.”

He described how commuters in Lagos trapped in the city’s hellish gridlock are constantly beset by the blare of police sirens. “These sirens go off so frequently, and you are expected to make way for the police-led convoy. Mobile police men hang out of the doors of the blaring vehicles, brandishing guns and koboko (horsewhips). If you don’t get out of their way fast enough, they can smash your car’s windshield or beat you up. Here’s the most annoying thing: more than 90 percent of the time, they’re not escorting any government official. They’re clearing the traffic for some private individual with money or connections.”

I was quite familiar with that nightmare scene. During my last visit to Nigeria, I spent time in Lagos, Calabar, Awka, and Enugu—and I saw that ugly scene play out numerous times in each city. I came away with the impression that police officers, whose orientation ought to be the combating of crime, had been deployed to serve as mai-guard (private security guards) for the country’s well-heeled—including those who had accumulated their huge nests in illicit ways.

Indeed, one saw two classes of police officers in Nigeria. One class—those on private deployment whose job is to harass the rest of us on behalf of their wealthy “owners”—struck me as clean and well dressed, their boots shiny, a sheen to their skins. The other class—who stood in the sun worrying motorists for bribes of N20 or more per car—appeared scruffy, their uniforms dirty or torn, their boots dusty or spattered with mud when they did not wear flip flops.

This misapplication of police power compounds the atmosphere of lawlessness in a country where might frequently usurps the place of what’s right. Each police officer in Nigeria is paid from the collective resources of all Nigerians. It is bad enough that the Nigerian police are scandal-prone, that they hardly know the first thing about solving serious crimes, that their training equips them to view Nigerians, not with any sense of civil regard, but as legitimate sport for all manner of violent impulses. To now “privatize” police officers, especially the dreaded ones called mopol (for mobile police), to lend these police officers to do the bidding of private citizens who happen to have mortgaged their senses for a haul of cash—to do this is to worsen Nigeria’s state of anarchy.

Mr. Jonathan ought to order the police to immediately stop the practice of deploying police officers on private duties. There’s a precedent for such a directive. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was no great custodian of law and order, saw fit to instruct the police to pull officers who were seconded to non-government officials. President Jonathan should tread the same path.

Like the country’s National Electric Power Authority (NEPA)—re-baptized the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)—the Nigerian police have an awful image. Billed as an electric power company, NEPA spent years earning a reputation for plunging Nigerians into darkness. Years before the government officially changed NEPA’s name, Nigerians had creatively refashioned the acronym, making linguistic games out of it. When in a generous mood, they rendered it as “Never Expect Power Always.” In moments of forlorn exasperation, they called NEPA “Never Expect Power At all.”

Nigerians’ most benign epithet for the police remains “Wetin you carry?” It grew out of the lazy question that police officers pose to hapless motorists they stop at ubiquitous police road blocks all over the country. These road blocks are ostensible crime-fighting devices, but any Nigerian kindergartner knows that they are, in reality, bribe-collection points.

In fact, Nigerians know that their police are allergic to fighting crime. Quite often, the police seem enamored of criminals. There are accounts of criminals who menaced their innocent victims with guns supplied by the police. Many Nigerians would say that, frequently, they can’t tell the police apart from criminals: both are so deeply, so inextricably embedded.

Nigerians know or tell some version of a joke that’s the product of despairing experiences. The kernel of the joke goes like this. A horde of armed robbers descends on a neighborhood, shooting sporadically into the air whilst going from apartment to apartment to haul away cash and valuables. A distressed victim makes a frantic telephone call to a nearby police station, breathlessly describes the harrowing event, and asks that police officers be sent to combat the robbers.

“Is that right?” says the police officer at the other end, his tone calm and manner unhurried. The officer sucks his teeth, as if he’d just worked through a heavy meal of spicy goat meat escorted by two large bottles of Guinness. “We fit come now now, only say vehicle no dey. If you can fit to bring car, we go follow you there quick quick!”

In some countries, the point is made that the police are the citizens’ best friends. Suggest that to Nigerians, and you’d provoke guffaws. The Nigerian police are nobody’s friends. Some Nigerians would say their police are friends only of criminals. The Nigerian police offer little or no help to law abiding citizens. Some Nigerians would contend that ruthless criminals receive plenty of help from the police.

There’s—to cite one example—the case of Lotachukwu (Lota) Ezeudu, a 19-year-old accountancy student at the University of Nigeria who has never been seen since he was kidnapped on September 26, 2009. The main suspects in his abduction include Sam Chukwu, a divisional police officer (DPO), and Desmond Chinwuba, a sacked police officer who was standing trial in an earlier armed robbery. Both men have been on the run for several years. Some believe that Mr. Chukwu was the mastermind, that he ran a criminal ring whose nefarious menu included assassinations, armed robbery, and kidnapping. Among those in custody are Ernest Okeke, fired alongside Mr. Chinwuba, and Nnaemeka Chukwu, the DPO’s son.

Rogue officers like the fugitive Sam Chukwu further taint the already unflattering image of Nigeria’s police. They are one reason some took to calling the country’s law enforcement agency the Nigerian Police Farce.

Nigeria’s police are trapped in a crisis that demands long-term remedies, addressing in a fundamental way how police officers are trained, equipped and paid. For now, however, President Jonathan has a duty to spare Nigerians from some of the excesses of the police. He should order that no police officer should be seen working “private” shifts for Nigeria’s deep pockets.

 

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Aviation Minister Oduah: I won’t allow abandoned projects.


Stella-ODUAH-03

Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, has assured that the ongoing remodelling of airports will be completed in record time

without any abandoned project under her watch.

Oduah spoke after a two-day tour of eight airports at the weekend.

The minister inspected the remodelling of Yola, Sokoto, Ilorin, Abuja, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Owerri, and Enugu airports.

Oduah, who decried the abandoned project syndrome in Nigeria, said the present administration was committed to timely completion of projects it started in late 2011 under the Airport Remodelling Project Initiative.

She said: “When we came on board in 2011 and drew up our master plan and implementation road map, which had as its core components the Airport Remodelling Project, we were charged by Mr President to ensure that we complete every project we embark on.

“We assured Mr President that we would see every project to its logical conclusion and we are committed to that. We are fortunate to have his full support and the support of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“The result of that level of support is what you are seeing today. Not only have we completed, inaugurated and put to use a lot of the remodelled airports, work on the remaining ones is at 95 per cent completion. So, under my watch, no project we have begun will be abandoned.”

The minister said the Yola Airport was critical to the successful implementation of the transformation programme in the Aviation sector.

She said it was among the designated perishable cargo centres, adding that its cargo terminal would be completed in the second quarter of this year.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Made In Biafra, Not Made In Nigeria; Nigeria will start exporting cars soon – Jonathan.


 

Jonathan

THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER – President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday expressed the belief that with  the measures put in place by his administration, especially the new  National Automotive Industry Policy; the country would soon be exporting  cars to other countries.
Jonathan spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while granting  audience to a delegation of the business community from Anambra State  led by Governor Peter Obi.
In responding to an address by the delegation, the President said, “I  will refer all the issues you raised to the various departments of  government. We are totally committed to creating jobs. Nigeria is a  country with huge population of youths. If jobs are not created, there  will be crisis. The housing, agriculture and power sectors are also  receiving attention.
“In the next few years, Nigeria will begin to export cars to other  countries. We are encouraging the government to support local  manufacturers.”
Jonathan promised that the industrialists’ basic needs such as roads,  power and port facilities would be addressed appropriately.
He said if Nigeria must become great as expected by all, the Federal Government must industrialise the nation.
To this end, he said his administration would continue to encourage industrialists in the country.
“If any country will be great, we must industrialise. If Nigeria must  be a great country, we must industrialise. To this end, we will  continue to encourage industrialists in Anambra,” the President added.
He said his government was also devoting attention and resources to  the power sector because of its critical role in industrialisation.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo told the delegation that Jonathan had  recently approved $3.7bn to improve power transmission across the  country.
Obi had earlier told the President that the enterprising and  preserving nature of Anambra people made them well-positioned to assist  Jonathan to achieve his administration’s transformation agenda.
While declaring the support of the people of the state for Jonathan,  Obi said, “You have excess credit in your political account that these  people (members of the delegation) are ready to pay you when you need  it.”
The governor said he led the delegation to express their support for  the President and bring to his attention some of the industrialists’  collective, which if addressed, would help in anchoring the growth and  development of industry in the state.
Some of the needs, according to him, are the completion of the  330/132/33KV power substation at Nnewi; provision of uninterrupted power  supply in the Onitsha Harbour Industrial Area and Ozubulu Industrial  Hub; completion of the Nnamdi Azikwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi; and the  inclusion of Anambra State in the rail master plan.
Obi also made a case for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of  federal roads within the state such as the Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Section 1,  Nnewi-Okija, start of Onitsha Second Niger Bridge, completion of the  Onitsha-Enugu dual carriageway and completion of the Umueze-Anam Kogi  road.
The governor also thanked the President for the inclusion of Nnewi in  the National Automotive Industry Policy of the Federal Government.
This, he said, would attract many ancillary industries, especially  with the coming on stream of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, adding that the  local content in vehicle manufacturing in no time would increase from 40  per cent to 60 per cent.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Oduah To Spend N800m On Vehicles – PM News, Nigeria.


 

By Simon Ateba

Nigeria’s embattled Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, will spend at least N800 million on vehicles in 2014, after splashing N643 million on 54 vehicles in 2013, her budget proposal shows.

The budget proposal, obtained by P.M.NEWS, shows that Oduah will spend N250 million on eight operational vehicles for the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, a small agency of the ministry with personnel cost estimated at N150 million yearly.

The budget provision shows each vehicle will cost N30.125million. Many of the SUV brands available in the Nigerian market sell between N5m and N15m.

The minister, who appears to be a car freak will also shell another N500 million to buy a truck for the agency.

And in her main ministry, She will spend another N50 million on staff buses.
The budget proposal shows that the Ministry of Aviation will spend over N137 million on foreign trips.

Oduah will also spend N100 million on her controversial Aerotropolis Consultants, the city-airports she claims Nigeria desperately needs.

She will then spend another N20 million on other types of consultancies and another N425 million on consultancy of institutional reforms, legal services and commercial.

General consulting and professional services for the Nigerian Meteorological Agency will gulp over N8 million.

On airport internal access roads, Oduah would spend N200 million and another N100 million on Bilateral Air Services Agreements. She will also spend N100 million on security gateways on express roads.

The budget proposal shows that Oduah will also spend N100 million on airport toll gates and another N100 million to paint and repair runways.

Oduah will also equally N820 million on the maintenance agreement for the TRACON support services.

The Ministry of Aviation will spend over N13 million on refreshment and meals and another N9 on publicity.

In all the ministry has earmarked N26 billion for capital expenditure, N18 billion out of which will go into her pet project of ‘remodelling the country’s airports’.

Outside of this, she also plans to spend N250 million to plant flowers in the country’s main airports in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Enugu.

Her recurrent budget is estimated at N6 billion making the total budget of the ministry to be N32.3 billion.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

CLO Replies Okupe, Says National CONFAB Treasonable.


…Backs Governor Elechi’s View Point

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

The Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, has aligned it self with Ebonyi state Governor, Martin Elechi ‘s position on the proposed national conference, describing it as an assault on Nigeria’s constitution.

the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs Dr. Doyin Okupe

the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs Dr. Doyin Okupe

African Examiner reports that Gov. Elechi had last Friday, in his country home Ikwo, Ebonyi state, criticized the proposed Confab, saying it will amount to waste of funds.

CLO’s support for Elechi’s position on the issue was coming few hours after both the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lashed out at the Governor over the anti-national conference statements credited to him.

In a press statement signed by the south east zonal coordinator of CLO Barrister Olu Omotayo, made available to African Examiner in Enugu on Sunday, the human Rights organization hailed Elechi for taking such “bold stand.”

In the statement, the organization insisted that the conference is illegal and treasonable.

The statement reads:

“The Civil Liberties Organisation South-East Zone salutes the courage and wisdom of Governor Martin Elechi, of Ebonyi State, being the first governor and leader in the Southeast to come out openly and condemn in an unequivocal term the proposed national conference.

“The respected Leader and Elder had stated last Friday that he will not participate in the national conference being planned by President Goodluck Jonathan. The governor dismissed the planned conference as ‘a big joke, waste of time, and a distraction’.

“The Federal government in its’ reaction described Governor Elechi’s comments as undemocratic, dictatorial and against the rights of citizens to freely participate in popular discussions. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe had stated that ‘the issue of participation of the states of the Federation in the national conference is beyond the approval of any states under the control of the PDP- led federal government’.

Okupe went further to state that ‘the national conference is a citizens’ civic responsibility and it is constitutional in the face of right of assembly for citizens’.

“We submit that the convocation of a national conference lacking any enabling law passed by the National Assembly is an assault on the constitution of Nigeria and is treason perse. The Constitution gives only the National Assembly the powers to legislate for the good governance of the country.  “Any other organ whatsoever lacks the powers or legality to determine what is good and the way forward for the country. The over 150 millions Nigerians gave the powers to legislate for the good governance of this country to their representatives in both chambers of the National Assembly”.

CLO further noted, “Suggestion or convocation of a national conference without the legal backing of the National Assembly is a way of looking for another way to governed this country outside the provisions of the constitution and is a treasonable offence.

“The Nigeria Constitution itself provides in Section 1(2), that “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”. So the convocation of a national conference is not within the provisions and contemplation of the Constitution, unless the proponents are advocating for a revolution because advocating for what is not in the Constitution of the Federal Republic is calling for a revolution which is treason.

“In a Federal system if the executive attempts to take over or usurp the powers of the legislature then anarchy looms. If there is need for new laws or policies necessary for the good governance of the country, the executive should propose such as a bill to the National Assembly but not to attempt taking an extra constitutional path.

“On the issue raised by Dr. Doyin Okupe that ‘the issue of participation of the states of the Federation in the national conference is beyond the approval of any states under the control of the PDP- led federal government’, he erred because it is incumbent on the states of the federation irrespective of political affiliations to uphold the constitution and resist any attack by any tier of government on the constitution because the Constitution in its Section 1(1), states that ‘This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.

“Furthermore on the other issue raised by Okupe that ‘the national conference is a citizens’ civic responsibility and it is constitutional in the face of right of assembly for citizens’, it is submitted that all other rights and provisions of the constitution is subject to to the provision of Section 1(1) of the Constitution quoted above which provides for and re enforce the Supremacy of the Constitution of Nigeria over all persons and authorities, so any assembly of persons or group of persons to undermine the supremacy of the constitution in not civic but an unlawful assembly to commit an assault on the constitution which is treason.

“We ally with the position of Governor Elechi, commend his courage and hope that all our other leaders in the southeast will emulate his firmness, truthfulness and courage on national issues affecting the southeast and Nigeria in general”.

Governor Elechi was on Friday quoted as saying that “the National conference to me is a big joke, waste of time and a distraction to Goodluck Jonathan. I’m skeptical about it. It will not achieve anything.

“The constitution gives the National Assembly the power to makes laws and the referendum cannot over ride the deliberations of the National Assembly.

“The best was the colloquium by former President Obasanjo in 2005. There, all segments of national life talked and reached far-reaching decisions. I will still consult my people but if at the end they decided to participate, I will not stop anybody but I will distance myself and be an on-looker.”

Source; African Examiner.

Okorocha Endorses Business Mogul, Idiga For Orlu Senatorial Zone, Slams Sen. Hope Uzodinma.


Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

In a bid to ensure that his new party (All Progressives Congress) APC completely takes over the political structure of Imo State in the next dispensation, Governor Rochas Okorocha has endorsed business mogul, Chief Felix  Idiga  for the Orlu Senatorial seat come 2015.

Rochas-Okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State

Orlu senatorial seat is currently being occupied by senator Hope Uzodinma, of the peoples democratic party PDP, and is also the senatorial district of Governor Okorocha.

African Examinergathered that the recent endorsement of the business tycoon by the governor, has forced Secretary to the Imo State government, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, who was initially nursing similar ambition to shelve it.

Only recently, at a public forum the Imo state scribe, had openly stepped down his much touted senatorial ambition, to enable Chief Idiga clinch the seat.

Chief Idiga, will be doing battle with the incumbent senator representing the zone, Chief Hope Uzodinma, member representing Ideato State Constituency, Mrs. Eudora Igwe (Okwesilieze) as well as many others, who are also interested in the seat at the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

Speaking Monday during the grand finale of Chief Idiga’s empowerment scheme at Amaifeke, Orlu, Governor Okorocha described Chief Idiga as a genuine businessman who has used his wealth to attract developmental projects to every nook and cranny of Imo State.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Sir Jude Ejiogu, the Governor, said, “It’s important we acknowledge our sons that are genuine.  There are too many fakes who use government offices to cover up. We must not allow such people to continue.”

“Idiga, has used his personal money to develop Orlu, Oguta, Mbaise, Emekuku, Mbano, name them. If he can do much using his private resources, you can imagine what will happen when he represents you. You have to ensure absolute freedom by supporting him.

“He is the kind of people Orlu people will send to the Senate to be able to get their due share from the federal government, not those who will use your money to buy Range Rover Jeeps for big men while those who voted them into office continue to wallow in poverty”.

In his remarks, at the event, the SSG, who was former Vice Chancellor of the Imo State University (IMSU), said he decided to drop his ambition to enable a more capable person represent the zone.

According to Prof. Anwukah, as a private person, Chief Idiga had outclassed most elected representatives in terms of providing infrastructural development.

“But, some of our brothers are in Abuja, collecting our money without working for us. We definitely need a change because a bad man is a bad man any day”.

In his speech, Chief Idiga said he had attracted over 50 roads and electricity projects to the state especially, Orlu Zone.

He regretted that most of those roads had been claimed in the papers by some Abuja-based politicians as their achievements in the last three years.

Apparently alluding to Senator Hope Uzodinma, Chief Idiga said I’m a genuine businessman. I fought hard for every thing I have.    “We’re not coming to dash our people dollars, but we’re coming to help them make the dollars. If God helps us, our children will be source of livelihood for their parents”.

Chief Idiga who had been empowering thousands of the people of the zone through his foundation, called  JAFAC, stated that, the essence was not political, but to assist in reducing poverty in the land.

Source: African Examiner.

The Bartho Tragedy And Okolo Plague: Letter To President Jonathan To Restore Dr. Emeka Enejere As UNN Council Chairman By Millicent Chikani.


Dear President Jonathan, I deem it urgently necessary to write you this letter because the University of Nigeria, which you hold in trust for present Nigerians and those coming after us, is endangered. For the records, the UNN was set up as a culmination of African (not just Nigerian) nationalistic struggles. It held out in robust scholarship until the 1990s. In the 2000s, its institutional quality had waned so much in favor of prebendary cronyism. But stakeholders never knew they were yet to see the worst until, unfortunately, “Professor” Bartholomew Ndubuisi Okolo emerged as its 12th Vice-Chancellor in June 2009. A person like “Prof.” Okolo could have arisen to the post of vice chancellor only in a society that does not respect merit. Since Okolo’s embarrassing emergence as VC of UNN, it has been misfortune not just for students and staff but for the university as an institution. I am sorry about the length of this letter. I did my best to keep it as short as you have it. For your easier reading, Mr. President, some of the issues are itemized hereunder, and I assure you that what you see here is a tip of the iceberg.

It is known to members of the UNN community that Prof. Okolo could not, on his own, work out the publications that made him the (pseudo)professor that he claims to be today. He rode roughshod on a younger, smarter colleague, using his superior position as a senior lecturer to usurp the younger man’s superior ideas and research results, arrogating authorship to himself and penning his name as lead author of most of the publications.

Before he elbowed his way to VCship of UNN, Bartho was already notorious for many reasons. Under him, the southeast subsidiary of the Nigerian breweries ran aground. The Enugu Sports Club also collapsed under his chairmanship.

•    Bartho coordinated the the NUGA games hosted by the UNN in 2009. Readers of this article who attended that event are witnesses to the fact that only one (the squash court), out of the dozens of sports facilities for which your and late Yar’Adua’s government provided funds, was completed. And those structures still remain uncompleted carcasses today after almost five years of Okolo’s VCship.

•    As people wondered what he would be doing with the unused billions, a member of the “Professor” S. O. Igwe-led University Council, which orchestrated his selection in 2009, had revealed to his friends that Okolo, having bumbled to the 5th position in the screening for Vice Chancellorship that happened a few months after NUGA, bribed his way through by offering the council members the sum of 350 million naira. Weeks later, that council member, Prof. R. U. Okafor, who leaked that information died in circumstances that puzzled experts in Parklane hospital, Enugu. He spent one sick week in the hospital without medication because the experts, having run dozens of tests, were still at a loss as to what the problem was. Two years later, Prof. Miriam Ikejiani-Clarke, an obvious challenger of Prof. Okolo’s maximum rulership, died in similar circumstances in another hospital in Abuja. The fear of Okolo then became the beginning of wisdom for other professors.

•    UNN students, having already known the administrative disaster Okolo was wont to be, protested for days against the questionable emergence of this substandard academic. And his first administrative decision was to ban student unionism. (It has stood banned until this day despite repeated appeals from many quarters).

•    One of the first struggles Prof. Okolo waged as VC was with a professor of Agriculture, Prof. Alex Ikeme, who was the director of an entrepreneurial outreach program with which the UNN, with sponsorship from the CBN, trained many people into self-employment. It was a fight to take personal control of the funds issuing from the CBN. That fight – because the professor refused to give in to his imperial command – sounded the death knell on that wonderful program. The CBN officials who severally visited and investigated that case are still alive to tell you what they found.

•    In Okolo’s hands, university admission became a gift for cronies and money bags. Majority of the intake are those who barely passed entrance examinations but admitted in what is called VC’s list; whose parents/guardians command Okolo’s personal interest. And these are admitted at the expense of many other bright candidates who are unfortunate to have applied under a VC that is a stranger to merit.

•    Under Okolo, 2,000 naira is deducted from the salaries your government pays all categories of staff as internet charges without their consent. Staff still spend on the same internet in Modems and cybercafés because the university internet signals are weak in most parts of campus. It is even worse for those who double as staff and postgraduate students: As students, they pay 18,000 for internet; as staff they cumulatively pay 24,000 annually for same internet. So, in sum, they pay 42,000 for services they hardly get.

•    Without consultation, Okolo’s administration deducts fixed sums of 3% at source from salaries of on-campus staff as electricity bills, no matter how much electricity was available or used each month.

•    Dear president, you know that after a long drawn out struggle by ASUU, the TETFund (Tertiary Education Trust Fund) was established to assist Nigerian university staff with funding for research, conferences and postgraduate studies. In UNN, if you are not related to Okolo or his friends, you cannot access TETFund, no matter the merits of your proposal. The failure of UNN to secure more funds from TETFund under Okolo is due to his failure to account for the sum earlier received.

•    UNN would have been luckier if it was only TETFund that Okolo squandered. More than 80% of the 6 billion naira intervention his administration got from your administration remains unaccounted for. The whereabouts of the billions generated yearly as IGR in UNN, and sundry other funds and government subventions, also remain unknown.

•    UNN staff are yet to get the earned allowances for which your government made provisions about four months ago. It has been found that the bursar, with Okolo’s directive, put the earned allowances in a fixed deposit to yield interests at the expense of your employees.

•    Apparently to control moneys from levies students pay for running faculties and departments, Prof. Okolo directed that all dues be made into a singular account from which deans and HODs would draw to handle their responsibilities. As I write you, Sir, deans and HODs run their faculties and departments with their (already depleted) salaries, while nothing is known of the proceeds of those levies.

•    Dear president, it has been found that much of the financial directives from Prof. Okolo to the bursar (whom the university council later had to suspend) were done not on paper but by telephone conversation. It is no wonder then that Okolo had nothing to show when the Council, with Dr. Emeka Enejere as chairman, directed him to account for his financial dealings. He continued to dodge council summons until Chief Nyesom Wike, the Supervising Minister for Education, allowed himself to be deceived into ignominiously pronouncing Dr Enejere suspended, to be replaced by the minister’s legal adviser, without due process that your government very well preaches.

•    I will tell you, dear President, something remarkable that happened soon after you instituted the new university council. One Mr. Fayemi,  representing the education ministry in the council, visited parts of UNN. He could not hold back his frustrations at the level of dilapidation despite the billions in Prof. Okolo’s disposal. However, it was with shock that the university stakeholders received the news that Mr. Fayemi had been withdrawn from the council due to his insistence that things be done right. Investigations later showed that Prof. Okolo had bribed his cronies in the education sector at Abuja to recall “the unguarded” Fayemi.

•    Dear President, do you know that Okolo’s wife is Alex Ekwueme’s daughter; that Okolo had projected his brother-in-law and Alex’s brother, Prof. Laz Ekwueme, to chair the UNN council, and almost had a heart attack when you thought differently and instead got a no-nonsense man, Dr. Emeka Enejere, to chair the council.

•    When, in mid-2013, that the new Council began to investigate Prof. Okolo’s financial dealings and job recruitment processes, they made findings that will break Your Excellency’s heart. When the Council suspended the bursar and controller of personnel, there was rejoicing in the university community because both officers, being Okolo’s hatchet men, represented the quiddity of official malfeasance. The council also found a harem of personal assistants and advisers that swarmed around the VC, milking the UNN. Following a directive of yours as visitor to the university, these were also sacked. The joy in UNN knew no bounds as your transformation agenda was seen to be embodied in the new council.

•    After having invited the VC for a meeting for the umpteenth time to account for his stewardship, the council, in their meeting slated for December 16, was set to take decisive decisions. One of the Pro-Chancellor’s aides, whom Okolo had bought over, informed him that council was set to suspend him and call for an independent investigation into his dealings. This led the professor to induce the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, with the sum of N200 million to remove the Pro-Chancellor without the knowledge of Your Excellency, who alone are empowered by law to appoint and remove federal universities’ Pro-Chancellors.

•    Dear President, it is curious that Dr. Enejere’s removal came a day after the Pro-Chancellor shared the report of Council’s activities with Chief Wike, and just a day before Council’s decisive meeting already mentioned above. You can look at that report yourself. It will reveal to you Okolo’s colossal fraud and mismanagement of the University of Nigeria. Is this what you want, Mr. President?

•    Dear President, I write you this letter because it seems to me that you, who are The Visitor to the UNN, could not have authorized the minister to remove an excellent Pro-Chancellor and replace him with his (the minister’s) legal adviser without following due process.

•    The Alumni, all the unions of the university as well as the host community members, who had all seen the sincerity of purpose of the Pro-Chancellor were crestfallen by the news of his hurried suspension. We wonder whether you could have ordered the removal of a strict, incorruptible Chairman of Council. Well-wishers of the University of Nigeria call on you to keep a date with history and re-instate Dr. Emeka Enejere, the Pro-Chancellor whose conducts have won every well-meaning stakeholder’s heart. Solidarity with his leadership is so much that the Alumni, all staff of the university as well as members of the host community have come together in an unprecedented synergy to ask you to stop whoever wants Dr. Enejere removed as UNN Pro-Chancellor. Dear President, do you know that love for Dr. Enejere’s leadership among the staff is so much that they have been in overwhelming protest and have vowed to do no work until he is restored as Pro-Chancellor?

•    The Minister’s action this time is one too many, out of the law, and demonstrates disregard for your office.

•    Dear President, please do not keep quiet over this matter. You hold the University of Nigeria in trust not only for Zik and other founding fathers but also generations coming after us. Will you abandon it for the few whose ambition is to destroy an important part of the country you are laboring to build.

Dear President, the issues raised here are verifiable and I invite you to send a team to investigate them. Your Excellency will marvel to find that I didn’t even scratch the surface of Prof. Okolo’s mismanagement of the university he holds in trust for you and Nigerians. Dear President, I know you are a person that loves those who build and not destroy; those who detest evil and desire right; those who uphold standards and not mediocrity. I ask you, in all sense of patriotism, to restore Dr Emeka Enejere as Chairman of UNN council. People like him are hard to find in our clime in these times. He is an asset that your government needs. Please bring him back and work with him.

Sincerely
Millicent Chikani
Department of Accountancy
University of Nigeria
Enugu Campus

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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