Staff of the Federal University, Owerri (FUTO) have expressed their resentment for any attempt to appoint an external Vice Chancellor, but prefer any lecturer out of those already shortlisted for the plump job.
Our reporter who undertook a random interview among staff of the institution gathered that the staff, especially the lecturers consider appointment of any external Vice Chancellor as an aberration as that may hinder development, and dampen the spirit of the workers.
One of our sources who simply identified himself as Sabastin Okafor, a non academic staff of the institution disclosed that even the host community is opposed to any stranger, adding that such strangers occupying the position will come and worsen the relationship that exists between the school and the host communities.
It would be recalled that the management of the institution has been in running battle with the host communities which accused the school of encroaching on their lands and violation of existing memorandum of understanding the school has with the communities.
With Professor FC Eze who will be rounding off his tenure as Vice Chancellor of the University very soon, the matter has been carefully managed and the committee set-up for it is doing well to resolving the dispute.”A stranger may not know all of this and will create room for hostility”, a source said.
It was gathered that the following professors have been shortlisted for selection; Professor Canice Chukwuka, Professor Val Ekechukwu, Professor V.I.O Ndirika, Professor J.O Ogbuagu, Professor N.I. Dozie. Others are; Professor K.B. Oyo and Professor Nnenna Oti.
Though they are all eminently qualified but popular opinion favours appointment of an internal Vice-Chancellor who understands the terrain vis-a-vis the challenges facing the Institution, how to effectively engage the lecturers to work and how to synergize with the host communities.