DELSU VC selection: Group asks Okowa to ignore call for ethnic consideration

A group, the Emuvwie R’Urhobo Association otherwise known as the National Association for the Advancement Of the Urhobo People, Worldwide, has called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to ignore a call by a faceless group to select and appoint the next vice-chancellor of the Delta State University (DELSU) based on ethnic consideration.

President of the association, Olorogun Paul Ejakpomehwe Abu, in a statement made available to journalists in the state on Tuesday, said a national newspaper’s publication on Monday with the headline “Send visitation panel to DELSU, group advises Okowa,” was from mischief-makers who desired to drag the name of Urhobos, Okowa and DELSU in the mud.

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He said the selection and appointment of vice chancellor for DELSU, from time immemorial, has always been based on merit and not ethnic consideration as being fronted by the faceless Coalition of Urhobo Youths whom it accused of trying to create a crisis where there’s none.

The group added that the call on Okowa to send a visitation panel to the institution over the ongoing process to appoint a vice-chancellor was unnecessary and injurious to an age-long merit-based tradition of the state university.

“The appointment of a vice-chancellor is merit-based. It is not a function of zonal rotation or ethnic inclination and benefit, thus the call for application is open to all tribes and nationalities.

“The most qualified person from any ethnic group or nation is appointed the vice-chancellor.

“Therefore, it is the climax of acute professional and procedural short-sightedness and ethnic bigotry for anybody to call for the exclusion of any ethnic group from being appointed the vice-chancellor or a particular ethnic group to be selectively favoured in the appointment of the vice-chancellor.

“Right from the time of Governor James Ibori, the appointment of vice-chancellors of the university has been solely merit-based.

“For instance, in November 2014 when Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan was the Governor of the State, his kinsman and brother came second in the selection process and the Governor followed the due process and the doctrine of merit, and appointed the overall best candidates and not his kinsman.

“Therefore, anybody or group trying to trade excellence for ethnicity or any other non-merit based factor in the vice chancellorship selection process, just like the fictitious and malicious group has done, amounts to instigating crisis and the extinction of excellence and such person or group of persons should not be taken serious.

“We state again that the Delta State Governor is a renowned personality who is highly detribalised, experienced and law-abiding.

“He is divinely endowed with good sagacity that nobody can misdirect him. Nobody should, therefore, drag the Governor’s good name sarcastically into the process of appointment of the next vice-chancellor nor should cause a crisis in the peaceful Delta State University.

“Therefore, the call by these persons who masked even at night is tantamount to throwing pebbles into calm water just to see the bubbles for malicious purpose.

“This is neither necessary nor welcomed in a peaceful and progressive university such as DELSU. DELSU is a peaceful and progressive institution and nobody should be allowed to disturb this peace and progress.

“Those behind the above-mentioned publication are mischief makers who want to pass through the backyard or shortcut to attain their inordinate ambition.

“This is not in any way in consonance with the university’s fine culture of global best practices,” Abu enthused in the statement.

The group, therefore, called on Deltans  and beyond to ignore “the parochially, selfishly and maliciously motivated publication.”

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