By Onjefu Okidu
When the University of Abuja resumes from one of its usual incessant “forced vacations,” it will be a good day for staff and students meeting a brand new Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Adikwu, re-constructing the tower of their ivory. On Monday July 1, 2014, Professor Adikwu, a versatile professor of Pharmacy was appointed Vice Chancellor of this great but battered institution. Friend or foe, all will readily concede that given his fortune in the selection process, professor Adikwu has an already knitted excellent strand in the tapestry of the corpus academia. One may therefore tend to diminish him in an attempt to capture the major highlights of his intimidating academic antecedents. Perhaps, this is what informed the spontaneous, unanimous acclamation he received from his colleagues nationwide following his appointment.
On assumption, Professor Adikwu did not mince words in announcing his readiness to deal with the rapacious instability that has disproportionately ravaged the institution over the years. “I am going to work out modalities to ensure a stable university environment.” The historical records of the university suggest that something is terribly wrong. Critical to any assessment of the problem is the institution’s leadership and some few pathological destabilizers who sadistically must not see to the stability of the institution. Some may ask how? From experience, it is leant that the verdict of history is more enduring than fleeting images of achievement. Nationally, if not globally, the university is reputed for chaos and high closure rate
Parent’s feet have continued to wax cold as their children and wards spend years behind the university bars learning nothing. Others have resolved not to send their children and wards into the same prison of dead knowledge. The universal notion of university partly points to “a community of teachers and scholars.” At the end of the day it is these factors and posterity that determines whether the currency of leadership tenure of a university is in gold or in garbage. The relentless pace professor Adikwu has already set himself points to the inevitable reversal of the garbage. Although, it may not be very easy to weld this massive, disorganized and restless institution into a coherent academic entity at a go, that Professor Adikwu has shown great sign of capability is clearly shown in his inaugural pickings. “The running of a university is a pilgrimage, it is a process”, he declared.
“I will ensure there is best academic standard in the school… We should not allow our school to be politicized and education should be used to solve socio-economic problems rather than using it to create more problems…..” Although, the pathological destabilizers appear to have commenced work, he has resolved, peace must return to the institution. “It is imperative to reconcile everybody in this university because without reconciliation we cannot move forward…” This beginning reveals very how important Professor Adikwu will be to the future security of the institution. Apart from assuring everybody’s safety, it gives cause for optimism that his administration will enjoy the goodwill of most staff and students to succeed.
The university’s teachers and scholars are not the real problem of the institution. The truth is that the institution has inadventedly engaged some elements who are not teachers and scholars but trouble makers who do not see any good in anybody except themselves. Teachers and scholars are too intellectually occupied to pull trouble. They believe they have a duty in whatever capacity they may find themselves to be committed, and be seen to be committed to the institutional and public good particularly in advancing knowledge. By the standards to which university of Abuja has become accustomed, the pronouncements of Professor Adikwu have shown great promise to deliver gold from the garbage. Elements within the University should therefore resist the trouble makers and carefully examine the laudable debut agenda he has put forward and join in the campaign of establishing sanity within the system. Now is the time for all to stand together against those who from any quarter may constitute distractive impediments.
Dr. Onjefu Okidu via firstname.lastname@example.org