-Accuses critics Politicizing Appointment

Contrary to speculations that the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), did not follow due process in appointing the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) to the rank of Professor of Cyber Security, recently, a University Don, Prof Clifford Nwachukwu  has come out strongly in defence of Pantami who he said  is ably  qualified for the rank of Professor, having paid his dues in his discipline and rare area of specialization.

Prof Nwachukwu who spoke to newsmen in Owerri yesterday , in response to  the issues raised by Dr Farooq Kperogi while questioning the validity or otherwise of the Professorial appointment of Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim by FUTO, stated that, “the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA is an agency empowered by its enabling Act, to create a framework for the planning, Research, Development, Standardization, Application, Co-ordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of information technology practices in Nigeria by developing standard, guidelines and regulation for that purpose as such counts in academic (R&D) works”.

He said, “NITDA like PRODA, Enugu and NASA in the USA, is a research institute. Besides, Prof Isa Ibrahim has a PhD in Computer Information Systems from Robert Gordon University in the UK, as well as BTech and MSc degrees in Computer Science from ATBU Bauchi. His promotion followed due process, wherein he applied for an advertised vacancy, with permission of President Buhari, was offered temporary appointment in March 2021, before the tenure of the current Vice Chancellor and Governing Council which he accepted. The processes had been on since his temporary appointment,  including internal assessment to establish prima facie case for appointment as Professor, external assessment by three assessors and 2 reported positively.”  In other words, all statutory conditions stipulated in the guidelines for professorial appointments in FUTO were followed to the letter, as has been the tradition in the University.

Prof Nwachukwu described the controversy generated by Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim’s professorship as politically motivated pointing out that, “Pantami may be in the good book of the president, hence his detractors are out to discredit to either settle political scores or blackmail”. He observed that all of the issues raised in the several viral reports are conjecture, insinuations and speculations and not one has been substantiated.

He expressed regret that the national alumni association of FUTO that should understand and mobilize support for University has not done enough in that direction but appears to have aligned with the mischief makers on a mission to tarnish the image of the Minister of Communication, without considering the fact that FUTO is also being ridiculed.