The ProChancellor/Chairman of Governing Council of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUA), Abia State, Professor Anya Oko Anya, has explained why none of the “home boys” emerged as successor to the outgoing vice chancellor of the institution, Prof. Hilary Edeoga.
A total of 32 applicants showed interest in the MOUA top job, out of which only 17 made the shortlist. Eventually, first class mathematics graduate, who hails from Ebonyi State, and former rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Uwana, Afikpo Professor Francis Ogbonna Otunta, landed the job. He is from the University of Benin.
Since his emergence, a lot of allegations have been bandied, where all manner of claims were made by aggrieved erstwhile contenders and their supporters.
In laying the issue to rest, Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of MOUA Governing Council, Prof. Anya Oko Anya asserted that, “both council and senate followed, scrupulously, the criteria detailed in the document both in the search team and selection board.”
According to him, there were 32 applicants out of which only 17 survived the rigorous short-listing requirements. “Although the short-listing was expected to be done by the selection board, the pro-chancellor as chairman, preferred that this should be done transparently and should involve the entire council,” he stated adding that, thereafter members of the selection board did the actual job of scoring the candidates according to the criteria in the guidelines.
“In this effort, each member of the selection board had to defend his score on each of the candidates and on each of the criteria. It was after this rigorous process that the selection board sent three names as required by the guidelines to the council. The top three scored 79, 76 and 67 per cent respectively.
He continued, “While four of the external candidates hold first class honours degrees in their various disciplines, all the four internal candidates without exception, hold second class (lower division) honours degrees and none scored above 65 per cent.”
He added that a commissioner from the Federal Character Commission and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, were on the panel as required by the statutes.
Anya noted that he took time to shed light on the entire processes “because all sorts of false and tendentious claims have been made through text messages and on the Internet … In reaction to these false and tendentious claims, highly respectable senior citizens of Abia State have been misled into less than dignified positions on this matter.”
He consequently appealed to students and staff of the MOUA to maintain peace and be law-abiding as “there can be only one vice chancellor at a time who must be an outstanding leader of the team.” (The Guardian)