Soldiers Take Over FUPRE As Youths Dare Governing Council | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Soldiers Take Over FUPRE As Youths Dare Governing Council

Posted: May 8, 2015 at 10:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By John Dugbe –  Ughelli


THE faceoff between the governing council of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun in Delta State and the Youth Wing of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) led by Ovie Igho Anthony has taken another dimension as soldiers have taken over security at the institution.

A dependable source at the 3 Battalion, Effurun barracks of the Nigeria Army who craved anonymity told Daily Independent that the soldiers were deployed to the institution on order from above to checkmate possible breakdown of law and order from the lingering crisis. The Youth Wing of UPU, it will be recalled had issued a seven day ultimatum to authorities at FUPRE to comply with its demand or risk inevitable mayhem.

The Youth chairman, Ovie Igho Anthony had been quoted as saying “we have given them seven days ultimatum from today (yesterday). We are demanding for the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor of Urhobo ethnic extraction in the University just as it is done in all Federal Universities across the country. It is a trite practice in the country that where there is a Federal university, the Federal government usually appoints someone from that ethnic group as Vice chancellor.

“Urhobo should not be an exception to that practice. In any case this is not the first injustice that is being melted on the Urhobo nation. The Export Processing Zone project is located at Ogidigben and the gas to run the project is in Urhobo land. We have not been given any consideration and we were never consulted. We are waiting patiently till the day when they will come to Urhobo land to source for the gas for the project that is the appropriate time they will know that we are not sleeping.”

In a related development earlier, the leadership of the Urhobo Nation, through it umbrella body, the Urhobo Progress Union, has through its President General, Chief Joe Omene and the Secretary General, Chief Albert Akpomuje, SAN, yesterday sent a petition to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to protest the non-appointment of an Urhobo Vice Chancellor in the university from the outset.

UPU has in the petition signed by both leaders, urged President Jonathan to intervene in the crisis rocking the governing council of the university and the Urhobo nation, as a result of the demand by the latter that an Urhobo son should be appointed the substantive Vice chancellor of the university, failing which the institution shall be determined. UPU has, in the petition, similarly given seven days ultimatum with effect from today, to the federal government to take appropriate steps to address its demand.

Efforts to reach the University’s Governing Council’s Chairman, Senator Nimi Barigha Amange, were not successful as at press time. A reliable source at the university has however said the situation was worrisome and capable of destabilizing the academic activities of the school, urging the federal government to urgently switch in to avert danger.