Frank-Collins N. Okafor PhD
Personally, I didn’t know of the protest and its concomitant allegations against Prof Au. Nnonyelu and Chiedu Elias (two Awka members of UNIZIK Council) by Amudo community until two days ago. Obviously, this lacuna could be consequent on my conspicuous though deliberate withdrawal these days, from unbriddled online presence.
As a matter of fact, the allegations are really weighty, strongly damaging and libelous to say the least, bearing in mind, the pedigrees of the gentlemen mentioned. It was an action inspired by not only brazen and unfathomable falsehood but catapulted misguided youthful exoberance and misinformation of the highest order. It is typical of the expressions of embittered hearts fed by disingenuous bunkun who know nothing on the dynamics of the University system. I was shocked to hear that the duo were allotted “Amudo quota” not even Awka, in the said ongoing junior staff recruitments exercise in Unizik. I laughed at the level of havoc that singular assertion had made on the image of our people who were hitherto believed to be atop other peoples in matters of logical thinking. Employment slots to share as Santa Claus (Father Christmas)?. I often wonder and puzzle at the extent of our people’s ignorance in a world of immeasurable exposures. As a matter of fact, I am not a UNIZIK Council member and I do not wish to hold brief for it, but as a very senior academic and son of the soil, I know that the current UNIZIK Council has not allocated any employment ‘slots’ to any community nor individuals on behalf of communities, thus, the current allegations are pigments of people’s imaginations which cannot even earn a single merit- point in a court session presided over by satan. Our consistent tragedy of victim mentality has done more harm to us than even the ever existing impression of conspiracy against Awka. The allegations are practical expression of killing dike n’ogu uno’ forgething that a day would come when dike’s dexterity and prowess would be needed against overwhelming external incursions. No community destroys its best except on the pedestal of inexplicable insanity. Prof Au. Nnonyelu and Chiedu Elias, as far as I am concerned, cannot stoop so low to that such a gutter practice. ‘Chukwu aghara ekwe’.
I was shocked when the issue of admissions was also mentioned. I received the greatest shocker when one of the allegations asserted without qualms, that the community is also denied admissions or that their admission quota had been consistetly ‘sold’. As a member of the Awka Admission Committee, I wish to state that the statement is as fallacious as it is misleading. No single individual is given the admissions quota of Awka (if such exists, abyways). It is the Committee which is currently headed by Prof Vivian Nwogbo that handles it and all Awka indigens no matter the divides is included. May you grant me the grace to state without any fear of contradictions, that over the years, UNIZIK Management had been so magnanimous to Awka admission seekers who qualified under the existing admissions requirements of JAMB and the University. The current VC has also shown stronger commitment to that bearing in my mind that Awka is not the only UNIZIK host community. The evidence is there, very clear and could be verified by anyone because UNIZIK is a public institution. Nothing is tangibly hidden.
However, one has noticed a number of reasons some Awka candidates were not offered supplimentary admissions as requested by ADUN. Many of them do pass JAMB but fails the post UTME test not knowing that any score below 50 and 40% respectively is an unnecessary waste of admissions appetite. Secondly, at the point of submission of application for Awka admissions quota, some people, out of political bias, submited such to an ADUN office not recognised by government forgetting that UNIZIK is a statutory institution which should ordinarily go with government recognised institutions. Thus, the ongoing political divides in Awka is already affecting the future of our children. Thirdly, wrong subjects combination is another clog no matter the JAMB and post UTME scores. And finally, wrong JAMB subjects.
It is pertinent to place it in public dormain that like jobs, the University in its considered decision can also offer admission slots to some Awka and non Awka personalities who are free to dispense such as they wish. This is simply personal and no one including the community, has any right to question it. The existence of University friends and benefactors is unquestionable.
Ordinarily, and as a statement of fact, the said protest targeted the wrong people who are one of the Awka finest. It has exposed all eyes on our people and community, especially, in the University. The protest would have served better purpose if it was targeted at our collective enemies than those who, to my knowledge, had fought for better placements for our people; people who have over the years, enjoyed overwhelming and unprecedented confidence of the University community which led to their overwhelming victories at the polls.
I cry for my town because we do not know the level of damage the protest/allegations have done to our collective opportunities in the University. We have shot ourselves in the legs. We have danced naked in the market place. May God help us