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Some Vice-Chancellors, Rectors are power drunk – Prof. Jude Njoku, former FUTO VC

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Many Nigerian leaders, including heads of universities and tertiary institutions become power dunk on assumption of duty, forgetting that sooner or later they will step down from their Olympian heights and become ordinary citizens.

Prof. Jude Ejike Njoku, made the observation in a paper he delivered at the First Foundation Lecture of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) Imo State, May 16.

In the lecture titled: “Academic Research and Leadership: A Challenging Experience”, Prof. Njoku reminded Vice-Chancellors and others that they hold power in trust for God and humanity and therefore should use them judiciously and with the fear of God.

Njoku, a Professor of Agricultural Economics and former Vice-Chancellor of FUTO noted that:

“Vice-Chancellors, particularly, sometimes forget that they are mere “firsts among equals”, and shall return to the university community at the end of their tenures.  The real test of ones leadership success or failure comes when he or she steps down and begins to get re-integrated into the university community.  Those who “ruled” like tyrants and refused to be democratic usually retire and leave the system as quickly as possible.  Tertiary institutions are led democratically and any wise leader will lead in accordance with democratic principles.

The lecture noted that the Vice-Chancellor is just the “apex” leader of the institution, as there are other layers and levels of leadership at the School (Faculty), Directorate and Departmental levels and advised that they too should also lead according to democratic tenets.

“The Vice-Chancellor is the Chief Executive of the University.  He is the chief academic officer by law; the chief accounting officer, chief security officer of the university.  He takes full responsibility for the success or failure of the university.  The buck stops on his table.

“Yet with all these powers, he has to be humble as well as humane so that he can lead with a human face.  As the number one Public Servant of the University, he must make himself available for service to the public and his key staff and students.

“He must be fair, just and equitable.  He must not victimize and discriminate.  He must try to pardon those who fight him and carry everybody along, who is willing to work with him, in his administration.

“The adoption of due process should be his guiding principles.  Due process is time-consuming, but it saves you a lot of headache at the end of the day.  In all things “you must do it right”.  When you do this, every other thing falls into line.  This has been my humble experience.

“As a leader, you must be visionary, disciplined, courageous, humble and wise.  You must also have the ability to take decisions swiftly, while dealing with people with tact and diplomacy.  You must make friends, develop executive capacity and be an inspirational leader.

“The challenges of being a Vice-Chancellor as well as an academic and administrative leader are enormous.  You must develop a thick skin and have the courage to take very important decisions.  Do not be afraid of criticisms, provided you do the right thing.  You certainly cannot please everybody, just as our Lord Jesus Christ never did.  If you score 70 percent rating by those you lead, you have done very well, since you cannot be as perfect as God Above all, you must, at all times, protect the interest of the University which you lead.  At the end of the day, you must leave worthy legacies for which history will judge you kindly.  This is where I stand”.

Prof. Njoku gave the same exhortations to our political leaders at all levels to lead us aright.  According to him, “If Nigerians are given honest, sincere, committed and selfless leadership; we shall have a progressive and prosperous nation where no man is oppressed.  We shall develop in the citizenry, the sense of national pride and patriotism which are part of the pre-conditions for national growth and development”.

The Professor of Agricultural Economics noted that Nigeria is primarily agrarian nation.  “Agriculture, for me, remains the ultimate hope for Nigerian’s economic growth and emancipation.  There is no other sector of the economy where Nigeria has comparative advantage in production, marketing and export as in agriculture.  We need to go back to the basics and become producer rather than consumer-oriented”.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the occasion and Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chigozie C. Asiabaka recognized all present especially the Minister for Foreign affairs and wife to the former Vice-Chancellor of FUTO, Prof. Ms. Viola Onwuliri, Vice-Chancellors and Rectors from other institutions, the traditional rulers, the clergy and other dignitaries present.

At the end of the lecturer, the vice-Chancellor presented a momento to Prof. Jude Njoku on behalf of the agric extension department in appreciation for his good works during his tenure.

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1 Comment

  1. ONONENYI-CHUKWU

    July 8, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    A good leader must receive his/her reward from the LORD. In fact, I learned a lot of things from the renowned and the humble professor , Professor Jude Njoku. He is one in a million. Your humility and simplicity shall lead you to eternity where you shall see the face of God, His Holy angels and saints. Thank you for wonderful comments about the future of Nigeria. You are a great and wonderful leader. May God bless and reward in Jesus’ name . Amen !

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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