Why Imo State Should Be Allowed To Produce The Next Vice Chancellor Of The University Of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)-Part One

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It is no longer news that the tenure of Prof Charles Igwe as Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka will end in June 2024.

As should be expected, some interests eyeing the Vice Chancellorship position have started consultations and scheming, which is very normal in any sociopolitical environment. Nevertheless, certain factors or variables should be looked into when the choice of the would-be successor is being considered.

The University of Nigeria Nsukka, as our premier University in the Southeast, was established in 1960, 64 years ago, and has produced Vice Chancellors from each of the five States in the Southeast, with the exception of Imo State. Indeed, of the six Federal Universities in the Southeast, none has an Imo indigene as Vice Chancellor. Three of the Vice Chancellors are from Ebonyi State, one is from Abia State, while two are from Anambra State.

However, University of Nigeria Nsukka is in Enugu State. Conversely, from this simple elementary arithmetic, Imo State is clearly marginalized and unfairly treated in the arrangement. Yet the history of the University of Nigeria Nsukka will not be complete without giving Imo Professors a resounding mention, due to their numerous contributions to the growth of the University, both nationally and internationally.

As if the injustice (and unfair treatment) against Imo State is not enough, on the issue of Vice Chancellorship position in UNN, No Imo indigene has in the last 20 years occupied the following Principal positions in the University :

  1. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics).
  2. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration).
  3. Chief Registrar.
  4. Bursar.
  5. Chief Librarian.
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From the above, one can safely argue that there appears to be a grand conspiracy against Imo State, which is a critical stakeholder in the Southeast, from occupying the Vice Chancellorship position of this worthy institution.

As stated earlier, a roll call of those who have been Vice Chancellors of this Citadel of Research and Learning, from 1960 to date, confirm that no Imo citizen has occupied the respected position, despite the fact that available records show Imo State has more Professors than any other State in the Southeast.

  1. Dr George Marion Johnson (American), from 1960- 1964.
  2. Prof Glen Targgat (American), from 1964- 1966.
  3. Prof Eni Njoku (Abia), from 1966- 1971.
  4. Prof H. C. Kodilinye (Anambra), from 1971- 1975..
  5. Prof J. O. C. Ezeilo (Anambra), from 1975- 1978.
  6. Prof Umaru Shehu (Bornu), from 1978- 1980.
  7. Prof Frank Ndili (Delta), from 1980- 1985.
  8. Prof Chimere Ikoku (Abia), from 1985- 1992.
  9. Prof Oleka Udeala (Abia), from 1992- 1995.
  10. Prof Umaru Gomwalk (Plateau), from 1995- 1997.
  11. Prof Ginigeme Mbanefoh (Anambra), from 1997- 2004.
  12. Venerable Prof Chinedu Nebo (Enugu), from 2094- 2009.
  13. Bartho Okolo (Enugu), from 2009- 2014.
  14. Prof Benjamin C. Ozumba (Anambra), from 2014- 2019.
  15. Prof Charles A. Igwe (Anambra), from 2019- 2024 (June).

However, it should be noted that the University of Nigeria Nsukka, which prides herself, arguably, as the only University with the most intimidating facilities that are highly rated, has suitable scholars, at any point in time, to occupy the position of Vice Chancellorship, whenever the tenure of the incumbent nears to an end.

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Furthermore, since it is crystal clear that Imo State is very long overdue to produce or become the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, it should be allowed to be the next VC, after Professor Charles Igwe’s position expires in June 2024.

From any angle anybody views it, Imo State should be supported, this time around, by all the stakeholders of the famous University. There are many erudite Professors in the University, of Imo State origin, who have distinguished themselves in their different areas of discipline, and who are most qualified for the position of Vice Chancellorship. These erudite Professors of Imo State origin have consistently promoted the image of UNN, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, through their academic prowess and commendable quality research work.

To this end therefore, among the creme of Imo Erudite Professors in the University of Nigeria Nsukka, five names features as the most eminently qualified to occupy the Vice Chancellorship seat, vis-a-vis, their curriculum vitae, years of service, experiences, local and international exposures, administrative capacities, leadership qualities and most importantly, they are scandal-free.

These five names are as follows :

  1. Professor Peter Akah.
  2. Professor Bond Ugochukwu Anyaehie.
  3. Professor B. G. Nworgu.
  4. Professor Obioma Njoku.
  5. Professor P. Chigbu.

In the coming days and weeks, I will dissect these five erudite scholars for the whole world to see through, after which the eventual choice would naturally emerge, to the Glory of Almighty God. Nevertheless, I am once again calling on all the stakeholders to join this crusade of ensuring that the Vice Chancellorship seat comes to Imo State, because it is our Omilekan — It is our turn.

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For the 64 years existence of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, nobody of Imo State origin has become the Vice Chancellor of the University, and this situation has put a feeling of conspiracy, marginalization and , indeed, isolation on the very good people of Imo State. This is time to correct this imbalance and remedy the situation. It is our turn.

Hon Dr Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha
(Sociopolitical Crusader, Prolific Writer, Thinker And Human Rights Activist) writes from owerri.

For inquiries on this news contact 9News Nigeria @08036856526

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About Princely Onyenwe 2476 Articles
Princely Onyenwe A seasoned Investigative Journalist, Civil Rights Activist, and Political Analyst, Currently Editor and News reporter with 9News Nigeria www.9newsng.com www.facebook.com/9newsng