Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha and his successor, Hope Uzodimma are presently entangled in verbal war over the true founder of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Umuagwo in Ohaji/Egbema council area of Imo State.
While Uzodimma earlier in a press statement he issued through his media aide, Oguwuike Nwachukwu said that his boss founded the University of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Umuagwo, Okorocha in a counter claim has boasted that the tertiary institution is his brainchild.
Okorocha in a press statement he released through his Special Adviser on media, Sam Onwuemeodo yesterday , said that the protest by the academic staff union of the Polytechnic and some other interest groups, delayed the take-off of the University, until he left office.
He further claimed that he did not only get the approval and the licence for the take-off of the University, but also appointed the Vice-Chancellor for the University, in the person of Prof. Peter Akanwa.
The former governor added that he equally Constituted the Governing Council for the University, with Rev. Fr. Wence Madu as Chairman and Seven other members, including Eze Thomas Obiefule. All event he said took place in April 2019.
“In a nutshell, Rochas Okorocha, as governor then, founded the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, which he located at the premises of Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, with campus at Aboh/Ngor-Okpala. While, the Umuagwo Polytechnic was relocated to Ehime Mbano.”
Aside the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Okorocha said that on May 7, 2019, he also got the licences and approval for the take-off of three other Universities, namely, University of Creative Technology, Omuma, Isiaku in Nkwerre LGA, University of Medical Sciences, Ogboko in Ideato South LGA and University of Sciences and Technology, Umuna.
“Infact, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed Stated, while handing over the licences to me, that the three additional Universities have been recognized as the 50th, 51st and 52nd State Universities respectively and as the 172nd, 173rd and 174th Universities in the nation’s University System also respectively, with effect from May 7, 2019.
“We have taken time to streamline our claims so that whoever has any other information in the Contrary, can come forward with it. Or, anybody with fresh licences for the Universities mentioned, to also come up with them.
“Governors and indeed, other Political leaders must always be humble enough to acknowledge and appreciate the achievements or the laudable programmes of their Predecessors and take-off from there.
” Doing so, is where the true honour lies and won’t diminish them or the office they occupy. Honour should always be given to whom it is due. To do otherwise, is to say the least, not advisable or acceptable.” Okorocha said.
But Uzodimma has described his claim as a blatant lie. Speaking through his Chief Press secretary and media adviser, Nwachukwu, the governor said if it were true that he founded it, the feat would have received a wider publicity.
Uzodimma said “That is a blatant lie, and of course you know that Rochas Okorocha that everybody knows is not somebody that will found an institution of that caliber without making a noise about it if he had a hand in it, everybody knows that.
“I think he should allow the governor to do the work he has come for , he has enough problem to grapple with, for instance , the Eastern Palm University that the circumstances under which it was founded is cause of worry to everybody , including those living there.
“He should solve that problem rather than facing the one that is taken off on a smooth plane.” Uzodimma stated.