By Martin Opara
indigenes and residents of Umuagwo in Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A of Imo State who are the landlords and host community of the new state owned University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies that was recently granted approval by the Nation University Commission, (NUC), to commence operation next month, have expressed profound gratitude to Governor Hope Uzodinma, for assuaging their fears by amending the Law establishing the university and expunging the Public Private Partnership (PPP) clauses that were designed by some people for selfish and ill motivated intention.
This was contained in a letter of appreciation, dated 28th December, 2020, addressed to the Executive Governor of Imo State, by the Umuagwo Town Development Union.
The letter signed by Sir Vitalis Aguguo and Hon. Henry Aguguo as Chairman and Secretary of the Town Union Committee on the Implementation of Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies, respectively, hailed Governor Uzodinma for signing into law the bill for the amendment of Law 7 of 2020 which has finally doused the fears of the host community and permanently situating the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies in Umuagwo “contrary to the clandestine design and permutation of some unseen hands who were bent on deceitfully using the facilities at Umuagwo to obtain NUC approval/license with a view to subsequently moving the permanent site to Aboh/Okpala”.
They also eulogized the Governor for the amendment of Section 3 of Law No. 4 of 2019 which has ultimately neutralized and negated the PPP arrangement, which, in their opinion “was a subterfuge and decoy for land grabbing aimed at depriving the community it’s common wealth.
“We are indeed grateful that Your Excellency in Section 7 of the amended law unequivocally demonstrated his governments position that the University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies, Umuagwo, belongs solely to the state, hence the Governor of Imo State is the Visitor of the university.
“We most sincerely and with a heart filled with gratitude and joy commend and congratulate Your Excellency for firmly and finally delivering on the commitment to permanently site the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Umuagwo, Ohaji devoid of equivocations, doublespeak, subterfuge and deliberate decoy”.
It would be recalled that the community, in a earlier letter addressed to the Governor, captioned, “Our stand on Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies, dated 17th August, 2020, congratulated him, on his emergence as governor of the state and prayed for God to give him wisdom to pilot the affairs of state.
The signed by Nicholas Amadi, President General, Umuagwo Town Development Union, and Comrade Alex-Igwe, as Secretary General, Sir Vitalis Aguguo, chairman, Town Union Committee on Implementation, University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and Hon. Henry Aguguo, Secretary, Town Union Committee on the implementation of University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umugwo stated that, “during your unscheduled visit to the Imo State Polytechnic, now proposed site of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, you proclaimed that the new institution is 100% owned by the state government. In view of this, we do not have to dictate the terms of your relationship with anybody, including Rev. Fr. (Dr) Wence Madu, former Rector of ImoPoly, who held a press conference and said that our entire community reasons from the gutters. We do not guarantee a cordial relationship with him and would therefore not allow our sour relationship with him to affect our brotherly relationship with you”.
“We also wish to emphatically state that the state government acquired over 368 hectares of our land, purposely for the establishment of a state owned tertiary institution, that is 100% owned by the state government. We would therefore resist any attempt by whatsoever means to sublease same to individuals or institutions different from the Imo State government”.
“Besides, what we deduced from your promising statements about the establishment of the new Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies are not in tandem with the suspicious activities of Rev. Fr. Wence Madu and his Claretian friends. We hope that the “Onya Ojoko we know, will not fail to implement to the letter, the promising statement he made about the new university”, it stated.