Following the incident which resulted to students’ riot in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU on last Tuesday, the executive of traditional rulers of MOUAU and National Root Crops Research Institute, NRCRI land donor communities, paid a solidarity visit to Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, the MOUAU Vice Chancellor.
Interacting with our correspondent shortly after the visit at the MOUAU Vice Chancellor’s lodge, HRH Eze Ben Oriaku, Chairman Traditional Rulers of NRCRI/MOUAU land donor communities who led the delegation said the visit offered them the opportunity to get a first hand information on what led to the riot.
Eze Oriaku perceived that some corrupt minded staff of the institution might have masterminded the protest which turned into riot.
“We observed that 70 percent of the students have paid their fees and their biometrics captured but what led to the riot might be the manipulation that were going on before the school went digital. Those who benefited from the manipulation do not want this change. Also the fencing of the university which was done to prevent hoodlums from gaining access into the school also provoked the disgruntled elements, who also cashed in, pulled down the fence and unleashed their anger during the riot”, Eze Oriaku perceived also.
The Royal father who described majority of the students from the land donor communities, who are also the major beneficiaries of the institution as obedient, submissive and loyal and would not participate in the ugly incident, moreover assured that, “we will keep talking to our children because that is our job, peace making and conflict resolution”, even as he insisted that the youths of the donor communities association did not participate in any riot nor destruction of property.
MOUAU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe (m) flanked by HRH Eze Ben Oriaku (3rd from left), HRM Eze Godfrey Onwuka (3rd from right) and other executive members of land donor communities traditional rulers during the solidarity visit.
He appealed to Prof. Iwe to always carry the land donor communities traditional rulers along until peace and harmony is restored in the university.
Lending his voice, the immediate past deputy chairman of Abia State traditional rulers council, HRM Eze Godfrey Onwuka, passionately called on the MOUAU Vice Chancellor and management team to have a round table discussion with the students so that the school will resume in no distant time, to enable the school calendar continue to flow undistorted.
Also interacting with our correspondent, the Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe appreciated the land donor communities traditional rulers for coming to identify with the institution at its stressful period.
Prof. Iwe who described the royal fathers as the University’s stakeholders, appealed to them as leaders of their various communities to educate the men, women and the youth groups in their communities to always hear from the University before taking decisions.
“They are the leaders of their various communities, they should continue to appeal to the elders and women of their Communities to listen to the university leadership first, understand what the university is doing, how it is doing it and why it is doing it, before they take any action”.
Prof. Iwe strongly maintain that once they follow such procedure, it will not be necessary for anyone to take laws into his or her hands.