The crisis rocking the state owned polytechnic, at Umuagwo, Ohaji Egbema Local Government area seems not to be abating but deepens daily as the former Rector of the College, Rev. Fr. (Dr) Wence Madu, has vehemently refused to handover to the recently appointed Rector, Engr. (Dr) Kingsley Okechukwu, insisting that the Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, did not mandate him to handover to any one.
The confusion and controversy generated by the existence of the two heads of the institution have been described in some quarters as a fight of two elephants, with staff, students, parents, host community and developers have become the suffering grass.
Revd. Fr. Madu, whose tenure has since expired claims that he had obtained an extension of tenure from Okorocha. An independent investigation has however revealed that no such extension of tenure was granted.
The former Rector, Wence Madu had issued congratulatory messages to the new Governor of Imo state, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, as published in some print media on May 31, 2019, where he signed as Rector. Similarly, the new Rector, Dr Okechukwu, in his own message to the Governor and his Deputy on Monday, June 3, 2019, also signed as Rector of the college.
The question on the lips of observers had been, does Imopoly have two Rectors or is there a case of impersonation?
Sources close to the institution reveal that, Revd. Fr. Wence madu, was first appointed as Acting Rector on October, 2011, barely four (4) months into the first tenure of the Ex-Governor, Okorocha. Nearly one year after, precisely by September 1, 2012, Revd. Fr. Madu, was authoritatively appointed substantive Rector of the polytechnic without any interview, thus violating due process and rule of law just to favour him. He became Rector above all his seniors and contemporaries.
It was disclosed to this reporter that contrary to rules, Revd. Fr. Wence Madu, who was employed as lecturer II, in 2008, suddenly became a Chief Lecturer in 2011, skipping positions of Lecturer I, Senior Lecturer and principal Lecturer. This was contrary to the rules and laws guiding the polytechnic.
Madu’s appointment as a Rector had a five year tenure, which terminated on 31st July, 2018. When the Governing Council Imo Poly ordered the management of the institution to place advertisement for the appointment of a new Rector. Fr. Madu was alleged to have cajoled the Registrar not to do so to enable him stay on.
On May 20, 2019, the government via a memo from the office of Secretary to Government SGI/S.00II/S.3/T/530 appointed Dr. Kingsley Okechukwu Ikebundu, as the new Rector. Fr. Wence Madu has since rebutted the letter, stating that, “it is the Governor who is the visitor that appointed him, that same Governor would also remove me if he so desires”.
The leadership of ASUP when contacted and in a strike bulletin made available to newsmen regretted that a so-called man of God would descend to the level of lying to the State Governor that he was not owing any staff of the Institution.
“On the invitation of the immediate past Governor through the Commissioner of Police Imo State, when the issue of workers salary was mentioned, Rev. Fr. Madu Wence denied owing workers any salary. The Governor before every one present taunted that he was not been owing any one in ImoPoly. Does it mean or suggest that Rev. Fr. Madu Wence misappropriated the funds, meant for payment of salaries, leading to arrears of seven months?”,the union queried