By Austine Bisong
In the past few weeks, the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has been in the news in Nigeria and beyond. Majorly, the news was centred on very nauseating allegations of gross misconduct, impropriety, abuse of office, sexual exploitation and abuse, and administrative high-handedness amongst other issues against a law teacher and suspended Dean of UNICAL Faculty of Law.
While a few seem to be irked by the follow-up action of the University’s management by suspending the Dean to douse tension and immediately constituting a panel made up of relevant stakeholders to prove the allegations, many others have applauded management for the positive steps taken so far on the matter. In a view to distract attention and mislead the general public, a counter-report aimed at promoting public hate was released to various media domains and copied up to the presidency.
The issues raised in the report are already in print for all to read. The big question is why is this coming now? Is it to weaken the ongoing panel set up by the University? Why did the writer fail to highlight the giant strides recorded by Prof. Florence Obi in less than three years as UNICAL VC? Now for those who care, just read on. Before the advent of Prof. Obi as VC, there existed a frightening number of ghost workers on the University payroll. Why was this allowed to happen? Who were the people enjoying this loot and why did haters of Prof. Obi not report this?
Three lecture pavilions that were originally awarded to be high-rise buildings were actually built as flats. Under Professor Florence Obi’s watch, these Pavilions were reconstructed to the original agreement status. Where were the haters of Professor Florence Obi and why was this not reported?
On assumption of office, Prof Florence Obi’s administration renovated all the hostels and ensured the building of new ones for females. This has never been done for over a decade, can her haters deny this?
What about the VC’s resolve to rid off academic fraud aimed at producing viable graduates for the larger society? Many criminally minded elements within the system have already waged a cold war on this. Notwithstanding several unapproved monies were recovered from staff and the same were returned to students who have suffered this financial exploitation. What have her haters said about this?
Before now, virtually every evil was orchestrated and accepted in UNICAL as a norm, ranging from certificate and admission racketeering, “reworking of results”, sex for grades and all forms of extortion were almost becoming a culture in the institution.
Despite, the Vice Chancellor’s dogged stance against these vices, criminally minded staff within the University system are still bent on surreptitiously and mischievously taking the University aback. Will her haters feign ignorance about this? Have they bothered to tell the world about this area of academic purgation by Prof Florence Obi?
A peep into Prof Florence Obi’s life and that of her children portray a family worthy of emulation. They are resilient, bold, dare all odds and have achieved adequate education that has kept all standing on their own feet. No one depends on the other to put food on his table. It is rather unfortunate that in this part of the world, life in public service gives anyone the impetus to spy into one’s family life and privacy and say anything he or she likes.
Haters of the present UNICAL leadership never believed in the first instance, of her likely emergence as VC. Some of those who failed in the last VC’s contest are still angry and disgruntled. They have employed all forms to blackmail and discredit her administration. Little did they know that their actions were creating greater awareness of the geometric giant strides of her administration.
For the male chauvinists, allow the first female Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar to completely imprint the template for positive University governance which for me, is a divine project to redeem UNICAL from the caterpillars and cankerworms of yesteryears! All right-thinking members of the University community including the alumnus are enjoined to rally around the most students-friendly Vice Chancellor and restore the standard of the University education in line with the vision of UNICAL and global best practices.
Austine Bisong is an Alumnus of the University of Calabar.
CAVEAT: Views expressed in this are those of the writer, Austine Bisong, and not in any way related to CONVERSEER and or its Staff.