Despite the renewed tension of the attempts by Owelle Rochas Okorocha to permanently pocket Eastern Palm University,Ogboko, even when it was built with state funds, the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma is also said to have concluded plans to relocate Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo to his home town, Omuma in Oru East LGA. This is against the original plan to convert the Orlu campus of the Imo State Polytechnic to it’s main campus now that the Umuagwo site has been upgraded to the state’s owned university of Agriculture and Sciences.
The development is coming barely few weeks after the transition committee headed by the former ASUU Chairman; Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, had begun the process of converting the school which is located at Umuagwo, Ohaji Egbema LGA, to Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental sciences. This has however, raised some concerns regarding the reason for the sudden change of plan.
Our source hinted that at present, the governor has mapped out a place in his Omuma native community, in what could be described as Rochas Okorocha’s archaic fashion in forcefully acquiring people’s land.Though, it was never disclosed if the owners of the lands are being compensated, the source stated that the Governor intention when he muted the idea to education stakeholders in Imo State, maintained that the agreement was that since the Orlu campus of the Polytechnic has facilities that can conveniently house the main campus of the Institution, it is needless building another school which will engulf huge sum of money.
“They advised the governor to make do with the Orlu Campus of Imopoly, saying that all the Governor needs to do, is to gradually develop the infrastructure and make the place viable”, the source stated.
He further revealed that most of those who advised the Governor on how best to run the two schools without hitches are unhappy about the new development. They wonder how government that is having challenges in payment of workers monthly salary and retirees pension should now invest in building another school, which may not scale through the accreditation hurdles for lack of funds and facilities.
When contacted, the education commissioner, Prof BTO Ikegwuoha said that efforts are being made to streamline the transition of the schools. He was however silent on the location of Imopoly as the signposts at the old site have already been changed to University of Agriculture and Environmental sciences, Umuagwo.
When also contacted the Chairman of the Transition Committee of the new University, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie said that his committee’s duty is to set up the new University, not Polytechnic. He referred our reporter to the law establishing Imopoly, Umuagwo as different from their own assignment.
It would be recalled that Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE) which is in Owerri was originally in Orlu zone, precisely at the current Orlu campus of Imopoly uptill the emergence of Chief Evan Enwerem administration when the school was relocated to Owerri and the campus was subsequently named Technical Skill Acquisition Centre (TESAC) Orlu before it was now made a campus of Imopoly.