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Looming crisis: Call Delsu VC to order, group tells Oborevwori 




•Accuses him of dictatorship, rejects attempt to impose VC


A pressure group under the auspices of the ACADEMIC FAIRNESS AND AGAINST INJUSTICE GROUP has called on the Delta State governor, Sheriff Oborevwori to set up a probe panel to visit the Delta State University, Abraka to check the excesses of the vice-chancellor, Professor Andy Egwunyenga to avoid crisis and looming litigations which might disrupts academic activities in the school.


The protesting group accused the VC of bending existing laws in the school to impose a stooge as VC when he bowed out in no distance time, stating that no law stipulated that only people with PhD should apply for VC in the school.


While describing the VC as a dictator and running the school as personal affairs, the group said the governor should act fast to avoid a situation of crisis that would plunge the school into a mess.


The advocate group emphasised that the VC unlawful activities were retarding the needed growth of the school, adding that the commissioner for higher education should rise to the occasion to call the VC to order in immediate effect if he knows why he was appointed as commissioner for higher education.


The group’s director, Mr Julius O. Chukwumeka in a statement sent to newsmen on Wednesday stated that the poor managerial skills and self-ego of the VC had reduced the school to a level of monotechnic, which is creating a serious blow on the image of the school.


While laying emphasis, the group said that a University Senate by the Act of establishment is empowered to act or deliberate upon educational matters and regulations of the academic community. The Senate decisions in such matters are binding upon all faculties unless overruled by the Governing Council or visitor to the University or its action declared null and void by the Court of Law, adding that in Delta State University, Abraka, it is more or less the half-blind leading the blind members of the Senate and important issues are not deliberated upon.


In the statement, Chukwumeka alleged that the VC dictates the decision even on critical issues and asks the famous question, approved? and members would shout in unison, approved, narrating that such is the character of the DELSU Senate. “It therefore lacks integrity as the wrong things always get approved. Avran Noam Chomsky, an American Linguist, philosopher, political activist and lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, is often credited with the very poignant quote that:“it is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth (always) and expose lies (always)”But in DELSU the revise is the case, the supposedly intelligent people stay silent for fear of being tagged by the VC and his friends as an enemy and denied appointment into positions.


The statement read in part, “The result is that the intellectuals in the Senate cooperate with the Vice Chancellor to speak lies and cover up the truth always and endorse any mischievous proposals or policies and misinformation brought before it by the VC, Professor Andy Egwunyenga. Examples are abounding, on June 18, 2024, an online magazine, Oasismagazine published by Daniel Dafe, reported about a group – The Integrity Academic Bombers, calling on the DELSU VC, Prof. Egwunyenga, to publish the names of lecturers in Clinical Sciences with MBBS plus the Medical Postgraduate Fellowship, up till date; the maradona VC is yet to publish their names. Maybe, the Almighty VC doesn’t know the professional difference between lecturers with MBBS plus Fellowship in Clinical Sciences and those with or without Fellowship who went to pursue M.Sc. and PhD. in the Basic Sciences such as Physiology, Anatomy, Biochemistry e.t.c.. It is the question of the half blind leading the blinds.


“The call by the Integrity Academic Bombers became necessary following the outcry by lecturers, particularly Professors in Clinical Sciences, that the VC and his cohort in Council must have mislead Council to introduce an extraneous conditions contrary to the law establishing the University and the practice over the years. The aim is to exclude the Professors of Clinical Sciences from being qualified to apply for the VC position. But the VC came out to assure staff that “there was no plan as claimed by the group to exclude anyone from joining the race to become VC of DELSU”.The University Community knew that he was clever by half, speaking from both sides of his mouth as usual, and deceiving them.


“These lecturers are aware that he had long planned with his cronies to manipulate the system, including Council in such a way as to shut out many other strong and qualified candidates. The purpose is to make room for his academically lazy, unscholarly and questionable avowed friends only to compete for the position’ But not too long, the maradona VC revealed his true intentions and chameleonic nature”, the statement added.


“The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Andy Egwunyenga, called an emergency meeting of Senate for Monday, 24th June, 2024, after giving only three days notice, instead of the mandatory seven days required by the University tradition. The main purpose was to elect two (2) members to the Council- Senate selection committee for the interview and recommendation of three candidates to the visitor. With an air of almighty conqueror, he declared against all known rules and regulations and extant laws of the University that professors in Clinical Sciences and Dentistry with Fellowship but without a PhD were not qualified to nominate any person, be nominated or cast a vote for or be voted for a senator for the Council-Senate selection Committee. His blind argument was that there is no qualification equivalent to the PhD and only PhD holders who are professors can be in such a committee to interview professors for the DELSU VC position.


“The perplexed but defeated over 200 members of the Senate kept quiet. It was a question of how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The oracle has spoken and no one dares to challenge the “god” or “oracle”. The only one person who dared to speak was shouted down several times and told that he was being ruled out of order ‘ By his singular, dictatorial proclamation, the VC denied this critical mass the right to vote; a ground for possible litigation.


“The only thing the conquered group did was to protest by staging a walkout of Senate, to lick their wounds. Intoxicated by power, the VC arrogantly proceeded to boast that the Senate and Council are equal and that it is for administrative convince that Council was established by law. Haba! What an ignoramus. He also boasted that the Senate has power to regulate itself, even if its actions were against the provisions of the statute that established the University, and may be the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


“Finally, he also mentioned that a past VC wrote a protest letter to the Chairman of Council and that petition is null and void as it did not pass through him to the Chairman. Which law says that? It is a question of power drunk. One thing is clear is that Professor Egwunyenga is attempting to sow the seed of discord /destruction now that his tenure is ingloriously coming to an end. After all, he has indicated his intention not to return to DELSU after his one year leave at the end of his tenure but to go to any of the other State Universities in Delta North. One thing is evident that the VC, Professor Egwunyenga and his cohort (Senate Representatives) are there for their own self-interest and those of their cabals, and to misleading council. Surprisingly, Council, made up of external, experienced members, is allowing itself to be misled by this gangster and clowns, some of whom lack integrity. Council allowed those who know they will be applying for the VC position to participate in setting the criteria that would determine who is qualified to apply for the VC-ship, a case of a judge in his own cause?


“This is an error of judgment or an oversight on the part of the Council.It must be pointed out that the two ugly incidents of: (1) the VC unitarily denying professors who are permanent members of Senate from voting and being voted for, and (2) the Council allowing those who will apply for the position of DELSU VC to actively participate in the process of determining the criteria for application for the position, are enough grounds to disqualify the process.


“The Commissioner of Higher Education if alive to his responsibilities, should immediately call the Council to order and ask them to do only things that are lawful and within the law of the University and established tradition so as not to cause a breach of the peace. Alternatively, he should be bold enough to brief his Principal of the discontent and potential crises the criterion of PhD would cause. The craze of PhD is sad as it is nonsensical. What is a PhD – it is just a form of Doctorate Degree. The advert of 2019 that brought Egwungenga to office did not stipulate only PhD but PhD or its equivalent – and this equivalence has long been determined and settled by the Council of this University.


“It is also contained in the Appointment and Promotion criteria Booklet of the university. It is important to note these guidelines were designed, taken to Council and approved by Council in 2020 under the VC-ship of Egwunyenga. ‘Let’s examine the provisions :P17 of the Booklet states thus: Lecturer 1: Promotion / Appointment to the Rank of Lecturer 1 May be made on the basis of the possession or A Doctorate Degree (PhD is not even stated) in the relevant field. Three (3) years full time teaching experience as Lecturer II, Fifteen (15) points from academic publications An MBBS Degree or its equivalent plus a Fellowship qualification registrable with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) OR (an indication of equivalence). An MBBS degree or its equivalent plus, A Master’s Degree in any discipline in the Medical Sciences, 3-year full time teaching experience as Lecturer II; ….For academic (Clinical Sciences) staff in the College of Health Sciences,… Fellowship qualification shall be accepted for progression by Clinical Lecturers in the College of Health Sciences from Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor and Professor.Section 7Promotion / Appointment to the Rank of Professor;The candidate must haveA Doctorate Degree (take note, not PhD)Three (3) years full time teaching as an Associate ProfessorA minimum of 45 points from publications. ORAn MBBS Degree or its equivalence plus a Fellowship qualification registerable with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN)A minimum of 45 points from publications. From the foregoing analysis, it is clear that even the criteria for appointment and promotion originated by Egwunyenga himself recognized MBBS plus Fellowship of the PG Medical College as equivalent to a PhD. Why is he trying to change the goal post in the middle of the game? This should be glaring to even the blind. It should be noted that even NUC documents recognized the MBBS plus Fellowship as equivalent to a Doctorate Degree.


“It must be noted that nowhere has NUC stated categorically that only professors with PhD are qualified to apply for VC-ship in Nigerian Universities. If any, Egwunyenga is challenged to produce it. It is nothing else but a fixation in Professor Egwunyenga’s mind and a form of inferiority complex. In addition, in an NUC letter titled, APPROVAL OF THE DOCTOR OF MEDICINE (MD) POSTGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMME OF THE NATIONAL POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF NIGERIA”, addressed to the Vice – Chancellor, Delta State University, received about 26th May 2021 in the Vice-Chancellor’s office, and minuted to the DR (Senate on 01 -06 -2021) with the instruction’ to take to Council was very categorical. Paragraph 2 of the said letter stated thus: The approved postgraduate degree in Clinical Sciences to be awarded by the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria is EQUIVALENT TO THE PHD DEGREE.


“Consequently, all Nigerian universities are advised to note this information accordingly for appropriate action when the need arises If not for wicked ulterior motive, what is difficult to understand in the NUC authoritative document? Has this document been brought to the attention of the members of the Governing Council of the University and are even external members of Council, including the NUC representative, refusing to see this glaring fact or truth? We are watching very carefully.Why did Egwunyenga not emphasize 10 years professorial experience to qualify to contest for a VC position in Nigerian universities as recommended/stated by NUC? Why is he disingenuously refusing to recognize NUC’s POSITION in an official national academic matter? The answer is well known, it is malice. This will be exposed in a late write up except he changes his ways for the better, for his sins to be fore given him.The childish argument by some infamous members representing Senate in Council that a non PhD holder cannot preside over PhD in Senate is quite dumbish. If it is so, then most of the external members of Council who are not professors cannot interview professors for the position of the VC, including the Chairman.


” It should be noted that a professor is higher than a PhD in knowledge production and so why still emphasize it. In Europe even non-degree holders are Presidents and Vice Chancellors of Universities. They may be good fund raisers and under them are experts who are Deputy Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Deans, Directors and HODs e.t.c. If it is by specialty, Professor Egwunyenga who is not a professor of Administration and has no training in education should not be the head of the University, an Educational Institution. On the Point of DELSU Law Council should not allow itself to be misled by most of these village professors in Council who could barely see beyond their nose.


“They appear not to be current with world happenings.It should be pointed out that there is nowhere in the statute establishing DELSU which states that the candidate applying for the position of VC should be a holder of PhD. Please see Section 23(1) the DELSU ACT which is pertinent to the discussion. It states clearly and unambiguously thus:The Vice Chancellor shall be appointed to (or removed from) office by the visitor after consultation with the Council and Senate from among persons of academic eminence of not below the status of a University Professor.The above section shows clearly that only Professors of Academic eminence (not all professors because some are less than senior lecturers) are qualified to apply and appointed to the position of DELSU VC From the position of the Statute, it should be noted by even the most idiotic mind, that PhD is not and could not in the most timid mind be considered as academic eminence, because most are gifted in Nigeria Universities, including DELSU that will award a PhD degree of a non-existent programme to a woman who is not qualified by any criteria of the admission into the Universities, except that she is the wife of a recalcitrant Dean. To attempt to define PhD as academic eminence shows self-revealed mediocrity or inferiority of knowledge.WHAT IS ACADEMIC EMINENCE?Etymologically, eminence means “creating value at the highest levels.


“It is what you have done with your PhD or academic qualifications”. Eminence is a condition of being well-known and successful Academic, “a scholar of marked superiority, of great distinction, of note or preeminence”. An academic eminence is a well known and highly respected scholar who is a member of a university who teaches and does high quality research and very productive in his publications both nationally and internationally.Section 63Which is often being interpreted to mislead some external members of Council is very clear – to any reasonable person. It states thus:“In the event of any statute or regulation (of any of the University’s organs) being inconsistent with the provision of this law, the statute or regulation shall to the extent of that inconsistency be void”.This Section is similar to Chapter 1, Part 1, and Section 1(3) – Supremacy of the Constitution- of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) It states that;If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.One thing is very clear here. What Senate and Council have done in importing extra-conditions outside the laws establishing the University is a glaring violation of this section of the law and therefore must be null and void.Note: Council should not be bamboozled to believing that because Senate is the highest academic organ in a University implies its actions or recommendations should be swallowed hook-line-and sinker. It must be noted that Council is the highest organ of the University and Senate is subordinate to Council. This is why even the VC, who is Chairman of Senate, can be disciplined and even suspended and recommended to the visitor to be removed for hiding vital information and misleading Council to take wrong decisions in important issues.


“Prof. Egwunyenga is therefore only arrogant because he states and believes that he is a boy to the former Governor, H.E. Senator Ifeanyi Okowa , and that he played a great role, financially and physically, in the election of the present Governor. We wish to use this medium to call on the Governor, His Excellency (Elder) Sheriff O. Oborevwori, to set up a visitation panel to the Delta State University, Abraka; this has been long overdue. This will help to check the excesses of a man who does not know and yet he does not want to know, and believes money can buy any person in Nigeria and therefore has been trying to corrupt the entire system to its very foundation.


“Conclusively, in all Universities, the most common criteria for the appointment of Vice Chancellor is preeminence in scholarship. For instance, in the early 2000s, The Commonwealth Higher Education Service (CHEMS) surveyed 144 top Indian Universities along with other foreign Universities. After analyzing the data, the team came to the irrevocable conclusion that for the Appointment of Vice Chancellors: Rules, Procedures and Intensions, the VC who is the leader of a University, as per the norm:“Should be an eminent academician, in addition to someone who has high moral statute; a professor who is an internationally acclaimed scholar.


“It is not PhD, it is beyond PhD”Even University of Oxford which is Ranked #1 in the World University Rankings by Times Higher Education (THE) did not stipulate PhD in the specific profile of the person required to be appointed the President and Vice Chancellor of the University.On page 6 of the booklet titled University of Oxford: Appointment of the Vice – Chancellor States the Person specifications as follows:The candidate should demonstrate academic credibility and intellectual rigour. A deep personal commitment to the power of education and research to transform opportunity and to the value of universities within society. etc,Council is being called upon to demonstrate the values of integrity, transparency, equity and fairness by doing that which is right and to the benefit of all”,he observed.