Rivers State Governor. Nyesom Wike has appealed to the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Stephen Okodudu to revive the institution to the trail of educational excellence, saying politics was destroying the institution.
Wike, who spoke while receiving a delegation of UNIPORT led by Okodudu in Government House, Port Harcourt, said the institution used to be one among the simplest in academics, character moulding and leadership within the country.
The governor expressed regrets that the institution had become an area where lecturers aligned with mainstream politicians to control the electoral process.
He said the emergence of a substantive vice-chancellor of the university was enmeshed in such politics.
He said: “It is appalling that the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor of the institution is additionally immersed in such political consideration. that’s the rationale why there’s an impasse within the emergence of a substantive Vice-Chancellor.
“I must tell you the reality . Politics has penetrated the institution. The position of a Vice-Chancellor used to be supported merit.
“But the consideration now’s different. Every Vice-Chancellor wants to align with an official or is appointed due to such affiliation. In turn, he recruits willing lecturers who are used to manipulate the electoral process.
“Such a trend is destroying the university system. It distracts from the core business of teaching. After manipulating the result of an election, you’ll rotate to mention leaders aren’t doing anything.
“You make it possible for bad leaders to emerge and you bemoan their inefficiency in office. How are you able to exonerate yourselves from such leadership?
“Rigging of election is worse than heist . it’s better to punish such people more because they need denied the people their mandate and benefits of excellent governance,” he stated.
The governor restated his commitment to support his school so as to reinforce learning.
He recalled that as a minister he attracted the school of Law and also built the school of Social Sciences.
He said the contract had been awarded for the development of a replacement convocation arena and funds would be released soon.
He said: “We want the glory of the university to be restored. Return it to what it used to be. My Commissioner for Commerce whose husband may be a lecturer in your institution informed me about the bad section of the East-West Road. I quickly sent the State Road Maintenance Agency to repair it”.
In his remarks, Okodudu said he was appointed to serve for 6 months stating that within the period, he was expected to revive peace and therefore the machinery had already been set in motion.
He thanked Wike for the prevailing harmonious relationship between the government and the institution.
Okodudu noted the several supports the government had given the institution and commended Governor Wike for his doggedness in providing quality infrastructure to develop the State.