Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State yesterday sacked the substantive Vice Chancellor of the Imo State University, Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie. The sacking of the vice chancellor Monday might not be unconnected with the suspicion that Awuzie, a former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU supported former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party during the 2015 general elections.
Awuzie, who was appointed acting VC in November 2012 and confirmed substantive vice chancellor of the university more than one year after, was said to have been in a seeming disagreement with Governor Okorocha on the administration of the state university, especially as regards the paucity of funds available to the institution. According to a reliable government house source, Awuzie who would be replaced by former Commissioner for Education, Prof. Adaobi Obasi, had demanded among other things improved funding of the state university, as according to him, the monthly subvention of about N200 million given to the university was not enough to run the university.
He becomes the third vice chancellor sacked by Governor Okorocha in the last four years after Prof. Nwebo and Prof. Bertrand Nwoke were relieved of their duties by the governor. Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has carried out a minor cabinet reshuffle in the State Executive Council with the Chief of Staff to the governor, Sir Jude Ejiogu being appointed as the Secretary to the Government of Imo State.
According to the reliable government house source, the governor’s first son-inlaw and commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Chief Uche Nwosu taking over as the new Chief of Staff. The source, who pleaded anonymity, also disclosed that Sam Onwuemeodo, who had been working as the governor’s senior special assistant on media, had now been confirmed as the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor. When contacted, Sam Onwuemeodo confirmed the report, but could not give further details.