There is palpable confusion hovering in the air over the establishment of second Imo State Government owned University of Agriculture and Environmental Science University, at the former premises of Imo State owned Polytechnic Umuagwo.
Despite receiving the registration certificate from the National University Commission (NUC), as the second government of Imo State, owned University, its take-off has so far suffered major setbacks. Though it was projected to kick-start admission processes for prospective students by October 2020, the only sign or indication that the former premises of Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo is now a public University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is the large Billboard bearing the new name and address.
Ordinarily staff and management of Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo who should have vacated the premises by October, are still in their various offices and laboratories pending when the authorities at Imo government House Owerri will recall students who were sent home in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown.
Already,those of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri West LGA have-officially resumed at their school, but those of the State owned Polytechnic Umuagwo in Ohaji Egbema L.G.A are yet to resume classes. The confusion stem from the inability of the Governor, His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodinma to complete work at the Omuma permanent site, where he had directed the staff management and students, of the state polytechnic to resume.
Omuma community happens to be the native village or home town of Governor Hope Odidika Uzodinma. Like Okorocha who took the first Imo State owned University (IMSU) to his village Ogboko under the pretext of decongesting lake Nwaebere Campus, with a permanent site having said to be devastated by flood, only to appropriate the structures at the new permanent site as his private University at Ogboko and a University of Medical Sciences also at Ogboko his homestead, Senator Hope Odudika Uzodinma had in the wake of the approval for the second state owned University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences by the NUC, immediately relocated the state polytechnic to his Omuma home town.
Regrettably, there are no facilities at Omuma to accommodate the returning students, staff, management and other morable facilities hence the inability of the New University to take off as planned. There is no advertisement yet for admission into the 2020/2021 academic session into the New University. There is visibly nothing for them to start on the state Polytechnic therefore runs the risk of not getting enough students to commence the next academic session. This is because, prospective students have already applied for admission in the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede the State College of Education Isinweke Ihitte, and the available few are waiting for admission into the New University proper. The lecturers at Umuagwo who spoke to our reporter on conduction of anonymity explained that they are rather devastated, disorganized, and confused on whether to look for new accommodation at Orlu or retain their various houses at Owerri and Umuagwo, since they cannot move to Omuma yet.
Apart from the Rev. Fr. Dr. Wence Madu led preparatory committee, there is no indication that a governing council will be appointed for the Imo State owned second University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
Similarly,applications submitted by prospective employees cannot be attended to without the employment of principal officers of the university such as Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Bursar etc. It has been a gale of confusion.