Abakaliki – Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Tuesday, appealed to the protesting Staff and Students of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, in Ivo Local Government Area of the State to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign in the institution as no security personnel would attack them for expressing their minds.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe stated this during a Stopover at the Institution to get a first hand Information as to the reason for the protest. Staff of the Federal College of Agriculture Ishiagu (FCAI) Ebonyi State had on Monday staged a peaceful protest to demanded the immediate sack of the Acting Provost of the College, Dr. Wifred Nwangwu.
The College Staff that protested under the aeigis of Joint Union Committee, comprising members of NASU, SSA, ASUP, ASUCA, and ASURI, alleged that the Provost, Nwangwu, had within the period of 5 months of his tenure demonstrated several acts of incompetence and gross misconduct in running the affairs of the College.
The angry protesting staff also padlocked the entrance and exit gates as well as other key facilities of the College and vowed that the College would remain locked until the Provost is sacked.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as: the Provost must go; the madness cannot continue; stop using Abuja to be extorting money from Contractors; we don’t want the trio of Goddy Kama, Mrs Chinemerem Ipalibi who is acting as proxy Provost and Mr. Peter Ikeh, the Chief Security.
According to the Governor: “I have listened to you very carefully. We didn’t appoint Provost. You complained about the presence of the military. The most civil thing to do is not to confront any security personnel. No security personnel will attack you for as much you conduct yourself peacefully as you have done. You are trying to express your civil liberty which is not bad. Our Government is a listening Government.
“Do a letter to the Federal Ministry of Education and Agriculture. write to us and as soon as we get, we will swing into action to resolve the crisis. The Governor will activate a discussion with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. What we will not tolerate is for your presence to constitute breakdown of law and order. End your protest today. We will be happy to resolve this matter speedily.”
Chairman of Academic Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), FCAI Chapter, Comrade Bamidele Adekunle, who expressed delight over the visit of the Governor added that the Acting Provost was not mentally competent to administer the College, as he had allegedly abdicated his duties to his cronies who are not management staff