The entire people of Umuagwo Autonomous Community in Ohaji/Egbeme LGA of Imo State, who are the principal land owners of the Imo State ,on Monday, April 29th 2019,have joint barricaded the entrance of the Polytechnic over the current upgrade of the institution to a University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, which they described as purported removal.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters (villagers),the Youth Leader elect, Hon. Comr.Nnamdi Albanus Opara, said ” in all intents and purposes, the action of the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to turn the premises of the Polytechnic into a University is a grand deceit and high level subterfuge in collaboration with the over stayed of the Rector of the Polytechnic, Rev.Fr.Wence Madu, to completely destroy the institution and deal decisively with the host community”.
He frowned at the Imo Governor’s plans against the general wish of the land owners, stated that he did not upgrade the Polytechnic since 8 years of his Rescue Mission, but remaining only less than 34 days to exit as the outgoing Imo Governor.
The Youth Leader, Opara,while speaking disclosed that they (Community) are not ready to welcome the alleged university by Gov.Rochas.
The Deputy President General of Unuagwo, Sir.Casmir Amadi, expressed dissatisfaction over the ongoing upgrade- plan of the outgoing governo, which he tagged as fake university.
“Leave our Imo Poly Umuagwo alone for us. Let Fr.Wence go”,Amadi said.
Adding his voice, a leader from Umuagwo ,Hon.Henry Aguguo, condemned the action of the government of Imo State under Gov.Okorocha for the upgrade of the Polytechnic into University.
Meanwhile, some of the aggrieved protesters of Umuagwo who spoke to newsmen, called on Gov.Okorocha to desist from any plan of removing the Polytechnic for University.
The protester however disclosed that they copied to the Imo GovElect, Emeka Ihedioha, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian University Commission, NUC, the Executive Security of National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, the Polytechnic Council Chairman, the Police Commissioner of Police in Imo State and the Director of State Security Services, DSS,on the urgent need to allow the Polytechnic to remain.
The people therefore decried against none payment of workers’ salaries for over 7 months and the management of the Polytechnic’s inability to offer job opportunities the people of Umuagwo.
In an effort to speak with the Polytechnic Rector, Rev.Fr.Whence Madu,he called on the people of Umuagwo to reclaim and embrace the new University given to them from the govt.,which he described as a welcome development aimed at bringing more academic upliftment for the interest of Umuagwo,Ohaji,Egbema in particular and Imo people in general.
The Rector, moreso advised them to cease the opportunity to welcome the educational initiative of the govt.