By Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka
Our attention has been drawn to a Social Media post made by Hon. Ginger Onwusibe, the Member representing Isiala Ngwa North State Constituency regarding a case of academic misconduct involving him and the Abia State University, and particularly, his constant reference in the said post to the Governor of Abia State and the rather unfortunate attempts to link the Governor to his problems in the University.
Ordinarily, the Office of the Governor of Abia State should not get involved in the relationship between a University and her student but this reaction has become necessary as a result of the tendency of the post under reference to send wrong signals and deceive gullible members of the public.
The Governor of Abia State, by Law, is the Visitor to the Abia State University. By this special designation, the Governor is not involved in the day to day running of the University and he does not, most certainly, give any directives to the University management on how to manage her relationships with her students.
It is therefore disingenuous and outrightly mischievous for Hon. Onwusibe to drag the name of the Governor into what is clearly a case where the University exercised her rights to discipline her student, simply because it is convenient for him to do so.
The height of it was his claim that the Vice Chancellor of the University informed him that the Governor has instructed him to withdraw the First and Masters Degrees awarded previously to Hon. Onwusibe.
Such claim is rather ridiculous, desperate, mischievous, misleading and a clear display of a surprising lack of understanding of the workings of a University system. Beyond the above, the claim amounts to actionable injurious falsehood with multi-faceted civil and criminal dimensions.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu came into the business of governance from the University system where he was a Senior Member of the University Community, and as such, has a perfect understanding of how the system operates. He appreciates the sanctity of the process through which Universities award their degrees and it is therefore preposterous for anyone to make the wild claim that the Governor would order the Vice Chancellor to withdraw the certificate of a awarded to a graduate of the University.
As a University Lecturer of many years, a former Head of Department and a statutory Member of the Senate of a University, Governor Ikpeazu detests academic fraud and is firmly of the view that any student indicted for academic fraud should face the consequences of his action. Such student must however be afforded the opportunity of fair hearing. If the Student isn’t satisfied with the outcome of the process, he has options available to him.
To be clear, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has no hand whatsoever in whatever travails Hon Ginger Onwusibe is facing in the University.
By his own admission, Hon. Onwusibe appeared before the University Examinations Malpractice Panel and responded to the allegations made against him. If he is not satisfied with the procedure or outcome of the Panel, he should seek professional advice on how next to proceed, instead of recklessly dragging the name and office of the Governor of Abia State into the internal affairs of a University.
The Governor is of the view that people should be sincere enough to pursue degrees and diplomas that they have the capacity and time for and therefore advises Hon. Onwusibe to look elsewhere for the source of his problems.
It has sadly become a favorite past time for several people to abuse and link their self inflicted misfortunes to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in a bid to seek cheap public relevance. Like similar attempts in the past, this one is dead on arrival.
Let it however be made clear that the habit of treating with disrespect, the person and office of the Governor of Abia State has reached intolerable dimensions. This habit must be brought to an immediate stop.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu wishes to make it abundantly clear to Hon. Ginger Onwusibe and others whose favorite past time is to mindlessly abuse the person and office of the Governor of Abia State that his peaceful and friendly dispositions should not be misconstrued for weakness.
Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
June 8, 2022.