By Ignatius Chukwu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has denied demanding for slots in job opportunities in the Rivers State University (RSU), formerly University of Science and Technology (UST). This indicates that the murmuring from the sacked vice chancellor’s camp that the governor was angry because Blessing Didia refused to give the governor whopping 200 slots must have got to the governor’s ears.
Gov Wike seemed to take the advantage of the commissioning of a building he built for the students’ union to debunk such insinuations. A Government House statement from the event this Monday, September 23, 2019, said: “Governor Wike said unlike other leaders, he has never interfered with admission and employment processes of any institution in the state. He said his transparent approach to administration gives him the moral power to discipline erring officials.”
The governor on August 3, 2019, fired the vice chancellor, the professor from the University of Port Harcourt he installed as VC along with the deputy and asked the 2nd deputy to take over. The governor had given Didia 48 hours in a two-point query on employment racketeering and killings in the university.
Sources said Didia may have been planning to turn in a resignation letter the following week when the governor must have got wind of it and a sack letter flew off from the desk of the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education Saturday morning to rob the VC of that privilege.
The governor thus ordered a probe into the recruitment exercise going in the university. Now, the governor has directed the Governing Council of the University to continue with the suspended employment exercise for academic and non academic staff.
Commissioning the students union building, Gov Wike said that he was compelled to suspend the exercise because of the negative issues that bedeviled it. He said: “I suspended the process for the employment exercise due to the issues that emanated from it. The committee that I set up to investigate the process has turned in its report. I am satisfied with the report of the committee. Therefore, I have informed the Pro-Chancellor to go ahead with the employment exercise “.
Reports also said the governor approved the construction of an ultra-modern senate building for the University. He said that if the Pro-Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor could make the design available on time, that the building would be completed by the first anniversary of his second term.
He called on the students’ union leadership to use the new facility to fight cultism, harassment of female students, and examination malpractices. The governor urged the ag VC to be firm and ensure that the University continues to move forward.
Pro-Chancellor of the Rivers State University, the retired chief justice of the state, Iche Ndu, said the completion of the students building was the sixth major project completed by Gov Wike in the institution and pledged to make the RSU a world class institution (which is what former VC, BB Fakae, brought the UST to before he handed over to Didia).
The Ag VC Owei, described the delivery of the building as a milestone in the annals of students unionism. “It gives the students a sense of belonging as major stakeholders “.
Also speaking, the permanent secretary of Bureau of Special Projects, Sunday Okere, commended the governor for constructing and equipping what he called a magnificent building.
President of the students, Precious Pepple, said that Rivers people re-elected Gov Wike because they wanted him to execute more projects for them.