November 28, 2021

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Crisis: Uzodimma counters Okorocha, orders varsity students back

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has ordered students of the Eastern Palm University Ogboko back to classes as the crisis over ownership of the school continues with his predecessor.

A former governor, Rochas Okorocha, who is a visitor to the university, had ordered the authorities to suspend academic activities following a protracted dispute with the government over the ownership of the institution.

While Okorocha is insisting that the university was established under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) between the Rochas Foundation and the state, Uzodimma is insisting that the university was established as the second state university by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

In a statement, Commissioner for Education, Bertrand Ikegwuoha, said Okorocha had no powers to order the suspension of academic activities in the school while advising all staff, students, parents, guardians, stakeholders and the general public to disregard such “illegal, unauthorised and unlawful press release and go about their normal and legitimate academic activities.”

However, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tola Badejo, said that the government has no power to order the students back to school as it has never discharged any financial obligation to the school.