* As Stephen Okodudu resumes
By Codratus Godson
The newly appointed Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof Stephen Okodudu, a professor of Sociology, has been urged to end victimization of staff members and students, a scenario said to have dented the image of the university.
This came as the Ag VC resumed Monday, July 13, 2020, with high expectations that he would midwife the process of getting a substantive VC in the next six months. The Uniport witnesses hue and cry from time to time in the past few years with protests and deaths from shooting at students protest rallies. Students were always logged out of the university portal and ended up losing the academic year for not being able to register for exams. This always led to tensions in the area. This may have made stakeholders to call for a change of style.
The advice came from a public analyst, commentator and media consult who is also a top leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the south-south and east, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze.
Other areas of urgent attention as pointed to the Sociologist include ensuring compliance with the relevant laws in the discharge of his duty; ensuring that all cases of victimization of staff and students by the past administration of the University were corrected; trying to restore the good image of the community through fairness and respect of staff and students rights; promoting good relationship with the neighboring communities; and remembering to make President Muhammadu Buhari proud.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt to hail the choice of Okodudu, the former national publicity secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) expressed delight over the choice, describing Okodudu a seasoned administrator with proven competence in public service.
The party chief expressed an innermost felicitation on the appointment, describing Okodudu as an academic thoroughbred with a whopping mastery in strategic managerial skills necessary for the efficient running of the institution for better output.
He said; “I am delighted to felicitate with you my brother and friend on your appointment. You have risen through the ranks to the zenith of your illustrious career as Vice Chancellor (Ag.) of one of Nigeria’s leading higher institutions, the University of Port Harcourt”.
Extolling the qualities of the seasoned academic, the party chief said Okodudu has remained incontrovertibly constant in his life pursuits and professional endeavors, stressing that his tenacity of purpose, remarkable commitment, excellent performance and exhibition of high level professionalism will, no doubt, bring about a paradigm shift in the University of Port Harcourt and reposition the institution for optimum performance with timely results.
“You have so many tasks ahead and I am confident that the wealth of experience you have amassed over the years in academics and administration will help tremendously in the timely repositioning of the university and I am proud to be identified with you.
The chief stressed that his appointment though in acting capacity means that within six months he will oversee the process leading to the emergence of a substantive Vice Chancellor.
Congratulating the new Ag VC, the chief appealed to staff and students of the university to accord Okodudu all necessary supports needed to achieve success and prayed God to direct and grant him divine competence to break new grounds and lead the institution to higher heights.
He urged the acting VC to make the president and education minister proud.