Chief Emeinke

The attention of the associates, well-wishers, and friends of High Chief Ikechi Emenike have been drawn to a write-up against the former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The write-up was made by one Kalu Idika in a blog Known as News Band and published by Elombah News, wherein the writer alleged that Chief Emenike was the worst Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of UNN since inception.

According to Idika, his source of information is one Samson Ogbogu, whom he claimed is a lecturer in the University. Our correspondent, who got informed of the write-up, interrogated well-meaning members of the University; staff, students, members of the University Governing Council on Emenike’s performance within his short stay as the Pro-Chancellor of the University and also investigated some claims by the writer.

First, our correspondent decided to authenticate the identity of the writer’s informant, whom he referred to as, Samson Ogbogu, and claimed he is a lecturer in the University. Interestingly, the investigation of our correspondent at the Registry Department of the University shows that the University doesn’t have the name Samson Ogbogu either as an academic staff or a non-academic staff in the University staff directory, which raised the flag that the write-up could have been fraudulently procured with the aim of misinforming the public on the person of the former Pro-Chancellor.

Our correspondent observed apparent outburst of rage against the write-up across all the members of staff of the University that were confronted with the write-up. Most of them were of the opinion that the write-up is not worth responding to since it is filled with lies and libellous claims, but for the fact that it concerns a man who performed outstandingly well, within his short stay in the University, and because the write-up equally raised serious falsehood against the University itself, and equally, in what may be a sinister move, indicted the University management in no small measure.

Our correspondent gathered from some current members of the Governing Council and management staff of the University, who served under the former Pro-Chancellor, that although Emenike may have had a brief stay as the Chairman of the University Governing Council, his tenure broke history and brought visible and tangible developments in both infrastructure and policies of the University.

According to some staff and records of the University that were cited by our correspondent, Emenike’s first activity in the University was to visit students hostels to ascertain the condition in which students live and proffer solutions to their accommodation problems. Our correspondent also learnt that Emenike invited students to come and address the University Council on their living conditions in the hostels. Workers in the Council unit, whom our correspondent interviewed averred that such invitation, whereby students were invited to address the whole Governing Council, has never happened in the recent history of the University.

The act, according to some workers in the council unit of the University, brought tangible fruits to the students. Our correspondent were shown an on-going construction of parameter fence around the female hostels, which is aimed at securing the female students from intruders and, according to the workers, it was one of the outcomes of the former Council Chairman’s visit to the hostels.

Our correspondent also learnt that one of the problems that the students reported to the Council was lack of internet services in the hostel. However, it is reported that after the address of the students to the Council, the Vice-Chancellor informed the Council in the subsequent meeting that internet has been restored in all the hostels. Those our correspondent interacted with maintained that Emenike was particularly interested in ensuring that the University provides decent accommodation to the students.

Our correspondent learnt that Emenike was so passionate about it to the point that the Dean of student Affairs, Prof. Edwin Omeje, was asked to submit to the Council, a detailed report on the conditions of all the hostels in the University, a situation that the Dean of Student Affairs confirmed when he was contacted on phone. This is therefore, completely at variance with the insinuation by Idika Kalu’s phantom university don that Emenike did not attend to the students accommodation problems in the University.

One might recall that this Newspaper had earlier published a ground breaking grant of five Billion naira to the University by TETFUND to enable the University construct a Senate building, and how it was Emenike who championed, pursued, and attracted the fund. This was after he lamented that the University, which was established for over five decades ago is yet without a Senate Building.

Before Emenike was appointed the Pro-Chancellor of the University, UNN was the only First Generation University in Nigeria without a Senate Building. Report has it that one of the actions Emenike took during his first Council meeting was to request for the architectural design of the Senate building.

Our correspondent learnt that the University administration expressed hopelessness in achieving the project because of the huge amount required to construct the building, especially given the dwindling funding of the Universities.

It was further learnt that Emenike surprised the entire Council members in the subsequent Council meeting when he announced that he has attracted five billion naira to finance the Senate Building. It is reported that the Vice-Chancellor led the entire Council members in very long standing ovation for the Chairman. It is important to note that the amount represents the highest amount the University has ever attracted or received from any one source in one swoop in the history of the University. One of the Council members, whom our correspondent interacted with couldn’t hold his emotions as he conspicuously echoed the achievement with glowing face of joy. It also represents the highest amount the federal government approved for any University in a swoop within the calendar year.

It is on record that Emenike laid the foundation of the building on 7th March, 2022 in the company of the Vice-Chancellor, University management staff, and members of the Council. In fact, our correspondent learnt that the matter has even gone beyond approval, but that the fund has been released by TETFUND.

A top management officer of the University told our correspondent that what is now left is for the University to commence her procurement process for the construction of the building. Our correspondent also learnt from a highly placed management staff of the University that Emenike was equally very instrumental in fast tracking the release of the money, and that was even when he had resigned as the Pro-Chancellor of the University.

According to the source, this shows how much he loves the University and wants it to grow. He said “UNN will have a Senate building all because the breeze of Ikechi Emenike , albeit shortly, on UNN and it goes to show that neither the ghost University Don, Samsom Ogbogu or the writer, Kalu Idika, has any iota of the achievements of High Chief Ikechi Emenike in UNN within his short stay as the Pro-chancellor.

In terms of policies, our correspondent learnt that one of his very first concerns, as the Pro-Chancellor, was how to make the University generate sufficient funds to tackle her many challenges without depending on the Federal Government.

To achieve this, he enabled the creation of the Directorate of Endowment and also set up an advisory committee to advise the Council and the University on how to increase the University’s internally generated revenue. Our correspondent learnt that, although the composition and terms of reference of the committee generated some concerns, they were resolved and the committee is currently finalizing their report to submit to the Council.

A member of the Council, Professor Mrs Odo also narrated how the Chairman facilitated a high level delegation of the University to the Chinese Embassy, and the enormous fruits the visit is expected to yield, including grants to students. According to her, the funds that are meant to be raised are to be used in addressing the numerous challenges the University is facing, which he, the former Pro-Chancellor observed after his tour of the three campuses of the University. She also echoed the same idea that the Kalu Idika and the phantom university don know little about Emenike’s effort and the role of Governing Council in the University system.

Our correspondent’s investigations amongst the staff seem to suggest that Emenike’s short tenure addressed and to the benefits of the staff, some age long problems that previous Councils of the University had failed to address. Our correspondent learnt that within Emenike’s short stay in the office, secretarial staff, who used to stop at Level 12 was elongated to Level 14, and affected staff immediately promoted. One of the affected staff, who pleaded for anonymity, expressed so much joy, saying “God should elevate this man, the way he just did for us.” He showed us his promotion letter to Level 14, which he said is coming almost 10 years of being stagnated on Level 12. We equally gathered that same career elongation was fast tracked for staff of the Student Affairs after it was complained that part of their poor working attitude in the hostels is attributable to their stagnation at level 12.

One of the Hall Supervisors confirmed the matter and equally showered praises on Emenike. In his words ” I wanted him to stay here because if he could lead the Council to approve this for us within this short period, we could have gotten more things from his Council, but God knows the best and may God bless and elevate him the way he aided our elevation.”

It is on record that Emenike’s Council did not dillydally on issues of staff promotions and welfare as many Professors and non-academic directors were promoted during his short stay. In fact, investigation shows that the current Ag. Registrar of the University is one of the beneficiaries of Emenike’s led Councils promotion of Deputy Registrars and Deputy Bursars to the rank of Directors.

Our correspondent also learnt that Emenike’s efforts towards the development of UNN did not stop at official level. Our correspondent was informed that Emenike made personal donations to the University within his short period of stay there. A member of the Faculty of Law of the University told our correspondent that Emenike made personal donation to the Faculty of Law to help in the ongoing refurbishing and environmental reconstruction in the Faculty. Not only did the Dean, Faculty of Law, Dr, Samuel Nwatu, confirm this in a telephone chat with our correspondent, it was further observed that the name of the former Pro-Chancellor has been inscripted on the Faculty’s Hall of Fame, specifically dedicated for donors to the Faculty.

The foregoing highlights of Emenike’s achievement in the University within seven months of stay, is clearly in contrast with Idika Kalu’s write-up. It may be instructive to examine Idika Kalu’s write-up as supplied by his phantom University don, Samson Ogbogu.

First, the phantom university don and the writer completely showed that they lacked adequate knowledge of the role of the various university organs. Whereas the Council superintends and discharges oversight functions on the University finances, personnel, and assets, with emphasis on making policies around these issues for the good governance of the University, the Vice-Chancellor is the Chief Executive Officer of the University, charged with the day-to-day running of the University. It appears that in trying to malign the former Pro-Chancellor, Kalu Idika and his phantom university don seem to have attributed the duties of the University Administration, led by the Vice-Chancellor to the Pro-Chancellor. Therefore, one might rephrase, for instance, that Kalu Idika and his phantom don statement that Emenike failed to tackle sex for marks, poor electricity and water supply, sorting of courses, unhygienic hostels and unnecessary interference with the SUG, making it so inefficient and toothless by replacing Emenike with the name of the Vice-Chancellor, who is also the Chairman of the Senate, which is actually the organ specifically assigned with the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the students welfare. In fact, one of the people whom our correspondent confronted with the write-up raised a similar concern.

He said that it is possible that the writer was actually after the Vice-Chancellor because all the issues raised in the write-up are the duties of the management of the University, but didn’t know that Emenike was not the Vice-Chancellor. But when our correspondent drew his attention to the fact that the title of the write-up clearly recognized Emenike as the Chairman of the Governing Council, and equally made reference to his aspiration to lead Abia as their next Governor, the staff immediately retorted that the write-up is then the ” handiwork of political mischief makers, but have fortunately misfired in this one.” He described the write-up as ” irresponsible, malicious, ill-conceived, and ignorantly authored.”

He further stressed that people should be able to make independent inquiry within the University rather than relying on information from a phantom don who seems to know little about how the University operates. He further berated the writer, Kalu Idika, for failing to make further inquiries to enable him corroborate the information from the so called don, assuming he actually did interview the so called Samson Ogbogu. Similarly, a Lecturer in the Department of Economics of the University, who incidentally is from Abia, and also a Pastor, told our correspondent that the liars and mischief makers should leave UNN out of Abia State Politics.

He stressed that Emenike’s sojourn to UNN can only be described in terms of dedication, zeal, and achievement-oriented. According to him, achievement for achievement, records for records, legacy for legacy, and commitment for commitment, Emenike is the best Pro-Chancellor that UNN has ever had. Another staff of the University, who benefited from career elongation during Emenike’s tenure described the former Pro-Chancellor as the “Abia born whose light will forever shine in the University.”

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