All is not well in Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden as mediocrity allegedly enthroned in place of academic standard may stifle the institution’s effort in attaining global academic excellence, investigation by Straightnews has shown.
A total of 33 students of the institution said to have bagged First Class degrees during the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 academic sessions have not been offered automatic employment, contrary to the universities’ tradition to offer them automatic job except the recipients decline the offer.
So far, the graduates are said to be wallowing in the over-crowded labour market as the university never offered them the opportunity to accept or turn down the offer.
However, Professor Eno James Ibanga, the Vice Chancellor of the university rather than employing the first graduates of the institution is alleged to have employed graduates with second class degrees from other universities mostly into the Engineering Faculty.
Straightnews gathered too that during the maiden convocation in the institution of 2013/2014 academic session, the state government donated N1 million each and automatic overseas scholarship to two first class graduates of the university.
Though the ex-governor Godswill Akpabio administration redeemed the financial donation, the institution under the leadership of Professor Ibanga has not redeemed the state government’s pledge of automatic overseas scholarship awarded the graduates of Biological Sciences and Physics.
An insider confided in our reporter that the graduates went online and secured admissions in some foreign universities only for the institution to turn down the admission offers on the pretext that there was no money.
A reliable source close to the school told Straighnews that though the university offered jobs to the two, the graduates later sought admission in some Nigerian universities and proceeded for their Master’s degrees.
However, the Vice Chancellor is alleged to have sent his biological children to overseas universities while those who bagged first class degrees have been barred from the gesture owing to the institution’s obnoxious and oppressive policies.
“The children are trained overseas on AKSU Staff Development programme through Tertiary Education Trust Fund. TETFUND pays school fees, living expenses and other academic expenses to his children while they are in the payroll of the university receiving full salaries (basic and allowances),” an insider told Straightnews.
Ibanga is further accused of promoting tribalism to the high heavens. For instance, he witch-hunted and rusticated the President of Students Union Government said to be of Annang tribe over flimsy issues but preserve any person from Ibibio, his tribe.
The Vice Chancellor is further accused to have terminated the appointment of an Annang son, overseas-trained writer, and composer of the orchestra of the anthem currently used in the school over frivolous issue without any compensation, though the matter is pending in the court of law.
Yet, he surreptiously restored with promotion a lecturer (name withheld) in Public Administration, his kinsman from Mkpat Enin who officially resigned his appointment from the services of the university to join politics only to return after failing the party’s nomination.
He is also accused of enthroning nepotism to an unprecedented level. His wife, Dr. Ebi was recently elevated from Deputy Registrar to Director of Human Resources, a position that prepares her for Registrar of the institution.
This, it is said, is done with the hope for her to become AKSU Registrar in a matter of short time while he remains the Vice Chancellor, whose tenure will expire in the first quarter of 2020.
However, efforts to reach Prof.Eno Ibanga, the Vice Chancellor to react to the allegations proved abortive as he did not respond to our numerous calls even text messages as at the time of going to the press.
Even the state commissioner of Education, Professor Victor Inoka who is also a member of the university’s Governing Council could not be reached too for comments.