Abia Government Promises To Liase With The Management Of MOUAU And Stakeholders To Enable Early Resumption Of Full Academic Activities After Students Protest

...in order to forestall future similar unrest

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Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, OFR has charged management of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike to get to the root cause of the recent protest by students of the institution which led to the closure of the school in order to forestall future similar unrest.

Governor Otti gave the charge while addressing management staff of the university who were on a working visit to him. He noted that such academic distortion is not healthy for the future of the younger generation.

The Governor promised to liase with the management of the institution and other stakeholders to enable the resumption of full academic activities in the citadel of learning.

“It is important that you get to the root of the matter. If the investigation panel does not do a thorough job, you may not get to the root and one of the ways to solve a problem is not to prejudge it. That (prejudging) will close your mind to every other suggestion.

“Let’s find out what exactly is the reason for the protest, I think it turned out violent. Let’s do a thorough investigation to know the root cause and deal with it from the root”

The Governor, who also spoke on the Agric Business Incubation Centre which would soon be established in the university, directed the Commissioner for Agriculture Professor Monica Ironkwe and the Principal Secretary to the Governor to engage the institution on the way forward.

On the court case instituted against the university by the Abia State Internal Revenue Service two years ago on account of unremitted PAYE, Governor Otti assured that the matter would be withdrawn for out of court settlement.
“There is no way, we as a government would take you to court . Since it is something that predated us, we are going to look into it and discontinue it. It doesn’t make sense. I will instruct the Chairman of the BIR to discontinue the suit. There is nothing we cannot sit down and resolve it.”

The State chief executive also promised to engage the university and its boarder communities in resolving issues militating against the chances of the university getting Certificate of Occupancy for its land.

“If it is about issuing a Certificate of Occupancy, I can issue you the Certificate of Occupancy but that does not resolve the problem. Our government likes to engage with the people. We noticed that there was little or no noise when we took down close to 150 buildings in Ossah road to expand that road. The reason is , we engaged with the people, we compensated them before we started the project”

He thanked the National Institute for Food Science and Technology for sending him a letter of appreciation on the successful hosting of its programme in Abia and nominating him as a trustee member.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Professor Maduebibisi Iwe, who said they were on a courtesy visit to the Governor, requested him to intervene in a court case instituted against the university by the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue for some years now over unremitted PAYE.

He also appealed to the Governor to expedite action on giving the school a Certificate of Occupancy, saying that it would help the university a great deal.

The Vice Chancellor saluted the efforts of Governor Alex Otti in recovering the State through his various transformational projects.