Fri. Jul 12th, 2024


The Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, has passionately called on donor communities traditional rulers to not play a role that will frustrate the ongoing construction of the hybrid solar power station in the University.

Pix: From right, HRM Eze Godfrey Onwuka; HRM Eze Boniface Izuogu; HRH Eze Godwin Eboh; HRH Eze Silva Ubani, during the solidarity visit to Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe.

Recall that the Nigeria Federal Executive Council approved the Power Sector Recovery Program, PSRP on March 22, 2017. One of the PSRP initiatives is the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) which seeks to increase electricity access to households, public institutions, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to un-served and underserved rural communities through mini-grid/off-grid renewable power solutions. The NEP is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).

The EEP Phase II, funded by the World Bank will provide sustainable and clean power supply through installation of Solar PV Hybrid Power plants to 7 federal universities and 2 university teaching hospitals across the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State is one of the beneficiary Universities in this Phase.

Interacting with a delegation of the traditional rulers from Umuahia South L.G.A, who paid a solidarity visit to him in his office, following the unrest by students of institution, wherein varsity assets were destroyed by the rampaging students, Prof. Iwe expressed confidence that upon completion, the hybrid power station will provide reliable, clean energy for the staff, students of the university and by extension, Abia State.

Prof. Iwe who pointed out the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the institution had made a strong case on the power issue, following the epileptic power supply suffered by the University, reminded the traditional rulers that one of the things contributing to the poverty level of Abia State, was that MOUAU is not yet developed.

Iwe who also described the project as a miraculous gift to MOUAU and Abia, expressed optimism that the university will be more productive, hence the need for the traditional rulers not to allow their subjects be a clog in the wheel.

Iwe who also took the royal fathers on a tour to get a first hand knowledge of what happened during the students riot, decried that they destroyed unquantifiable assets in the school.

“We have toured the campus and you have seen things for yourselves. Students would not have been stupid to burn their lecture theatre and library, an act of arson, attempted looting a bank on campus, looted laboratories, shattered glasses of all buildings, pulled down walls built to secure them, damaged donor projects, among other sundry destruction.

“My administration has done everything possible to provide conducive environment and facilities for our students in the last three years. Even when the funds were not there, we borrowed and engaged on advocacy of goodwill and God has been on our side. We have also provided level-paying ground for all our students, staff and taken steps to protect our staff and make them happy”.

Prof. Iwe said his administration introduced biometric capturing to protect the integrity of the university’s examination and service delivery to the graduates.

According to him, the system was deployed to stop impersonation in examinations, the adventure of missing scripts of students during and after examinations and is also linked to timely examination processing and transcript release.

“In 2021, this University has no name, the smear on it was so much. We have been trying to rebuild the image of MOUAU to be a universal centre for people from all part of the world to be part of. We have made a lot of sacrifice and commitment towards the growth and development of MOUAU”.

He further explained that the university should have a commercial farm, student’s farm and research farm but decried that the university since its inception, has no commercial farm and appealed that the traditional rulers should help the institution, gain their land, for the good of the university, their children and Abia State.

Speaking respectively earlier, the representative of the executive of Umuahia South Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Godwin Eboh, who is also the PRO/Welfare officer; the Vice Chairman of Land Donor Communities Traditional Rulers and Chairman of Olokoro clan council of traditional rulers, HRM Eze Boniface Izuogu, and his Secretary, Eze Linus Onuoha frowned at the damages caused during the riot and advised that appropriate actions be taken to avoid recurrence.

“It is painful that such an act will be associated with students who are also pursuing various degree programs in the institution. Upon resumption, these students should be made to sign an undertaken to serve as a deterrence to others in the future”, they suggested.

Lending his voice, the immediate past deputy chairman of Abia State traditional rulers council, HRM Eze Godfrey Onwuka, maintained that the action of the students are not justifiable.

Pix: HRM Eze Godfrey Onwuka (left) with MOUAU Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe

He passionately called on the government, well-meaning individuals and Nongovernmental Organizations to come and help restore the university.


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