Hundreds of students from tertiary institutions in the Niger Delta States have stormed Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in solidarity with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Francis Otunta.
They immediately issued a stern warning to trouble makers to steer clear of the institution and allow the Vice Chancellor and the Governing Council execute their vision for the school in peace.
Operating under the aegis of Niger Delta Students’ Union Government, the students wondered why enemies of the region want to destroy the only University of Agriculture in the nine Niger Delta States, all in the name of fighting a vendetta war with Prof. Otunta.
In an address read by the President-elect of the Students’ body, Ambassador Dauebi Joey Ekadi (Jnr), they warned people engaged in campaign of calumny and blackmail against the VC to desist forthwith or contend with the wrath of the students.
They noted that ever since the Vice Chancellor implemented the directive of the Federal Ministry of Education and the Governing council, on the proper placement of staff, some people had taken it upon themselves to malign the reputation of Prof. Otunta.
“Is it a crime to promote excellence and enthrone due process and integrity in the running of the institution?”, the students asked.
The students commended the Vice Chancellor for his giant strides in the academic and infrastructural advancement of MOUAU in the last four years and urged him not to be distracted by “the enemies of the institution”.
President of the Students Union Government, MOUAU, Comrade Otuonye Famous declared that the entire students were solidly behind Prof. Otunta because he had positively changed the image of the school.
He said they were particularly happy over his policy of employing first class graduates of the school with the attendant benefit of tackling unemployment and offering opportunities to the youths.
Comrade Famous also noted that since the coming of Prof Otunta as VC, the school has not recorded any interruption in the academic calendar while its academic rating has gone up.
He thanked his colleagues in the Niger Delta for coming on the solidarity visit and assured them that MOUAU students are solidly behind Prof. Otunta.
While receiving the students on behalf of the Governing Council and Management, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) Prof. Madu Iwe described the visit as a demonstration of goodwill and support much needed for the advancement of the Niger Delta.
He said all the stories fabricated against the VC were fake news engineered by enemies of progress, saying that the students did well to seek the protection and sustenance of the only University of Agriculture in the Niger Delta Region.
Prof. Iwe promised to deliver their message to both the Council and the Management and commended them for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves during the solidarity rally.