By Joseph Bassey
Concerned members of the University of Cross River community across the four University campuses have issued a stern warning against mischief-makers, who are scripting malicious news aimed at discrediting and distracting the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Austin Angba whom they described as a ‘God sent’ leader to the institution of learning.
The warning which came in a press statement, by several members of the University community, cutting across Teaching and Non-teaching staff as well as students, claims that the faces behind the scandalous news items and actions are well known and will be called out if they refuse to desist from such acts that are aimed at slowing down the VC and Management.
The statement wonders how any serious-minded individual, will, for selfish reasons, set him or herself against an administration, “whose unrivalled performance, over the years is obvious to both the blind and the deaf”. The statement said, that the University community, will not fold its hands and watch some few people drag the University back to the woods.
According to the group, rather than working at getting the young man to lose focus, one had expected all hands to be on deck in raising the new banner of glory of the institution of learning.
“We, as concerned members of the University community, will no longer tolerate this manufactured falsehood and concocted desperateness of these mischief makers to tarnish the image, character and personal integrity of Professor Austin Angba and his office as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cross River State”, the statement reads.
The heavily worded statement threw spanners on the alleged unpaid salaries and purported offshore livelihood published in the social/online media against Angba describing it further as concocted lies assembled by disgruntled elements who are not comfortable that, it is no longer ‘business as usual’ in the University.
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“The arrears of unpaid salary is as a result of consistent strikes embarked upon by Staff which puts a complete stop to flow of IGR from students and had accumulated 3 months (March, April and May 2022) because the subvention cannot pay all staff salary and subvention for the 8months strike period, Three months were arrears owed, one month of the arrears was paid long ago while the University started paying the second month Tuesday… A few of them perpetrating this mischief were still seen demonstrating on the street after being aware that the second month is being paid”.
“We are not unaware of the evil collaboration of a few internal and external forces who are bent on tarnishing the hard-earned reputation of the Vice Chancellor with a view to truncating his tenure. There has been no proper engagement with Management or Council over their welfare needs. Jumping to the streets negates internal dispute resolution mechanisms which conflicts with Union and labour laws”.
“Their desperate moves at causing disaffection in all their writing did not escape our vigilant scrutiny, just as their intention to incite the University community against Angba and his Management remains crystal clear,” the statement reads in part.
“The university community berated the frantic attempt at playing down on the laudable achievements of the Vice Chancellor, saying such an attempt is a manifestation of desperate wickedness that filled the hearts and minds of the conspirators. The action of going to the streets is an action taken against the popular stand of Congress that the due process must be followed. Consequently, most of their members with the Union Chairmen backed out and did not participate. A few Staff took laws into their own hands and incited a few members with similar personal interests or ignorance to the streets.
They described Professor Angba as a man with outstanding pedigree and strength of character, whom they encouraged to remain undeterred in his great vision and mission for the institution. Reiterating that spending Christmas vacation with his family abroad has nothing to do with his owed salary as the VC travelled with personal funds.
“We know that the mega-sized humility of Angba coupled with his friendly disposition to staff and students alike are alien to us here, and this has kept the enemies of the professor of Agricultural Extension worrying. Hence their desperate moves to quell the joy and laughter that have pervaded this institution since when God sent Prof Angba to us,” the statement cleared.
The group commended Angba for his hard work in ensuring that several new academic programmes have been recently approved by NUC and successfully resource verification of 16 programmes and 26 accredited programmes for the University.
How about the recent University’s ranking of 7th position in Nigeria and 37th in Sub Sahara Africa by THE (Times Higher Education) Sub Sahara rankings? And the list of uncountable achievements.
The perpetrators deliberately want to embarrass and provoke Unicross Management and the Government in power else they would have rather engaged all the internal stakeholders.
The group on a final note
said they are beckoning on all good-minded Cross Riverians to join forces with the Vice Chancellor, whom they said is the greatest gift of God to the University of Cross River State.