Governor Wike sacks Rivers university vice-chancellor

Gov Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike addressing journalists

The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has sacked the vice-chancellor of the state-owned Rivers State University, Blessing Didia, alongside the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of administration, Magnus Oruwari.

The removal of the top officials of the university may not be unconnected with the recent cult killings in the school.

Two students have been killed by suspected cultists in the university within the last four days.

Punch newspaper identified one of the victims as Prince Barisua, a final year student in the faculty of agriculture.

The paper reported that the student was shot in the head on Monday by suspected cultists on campus immediately he finished writing his examinations.

Mr Wike, Tuesday, had queried the vice-chancellor, Mr Didia, over the killings.

The governor also queried the vice-chancellor on the “rampant complaints of ‘sorting’ in the school.

‘Sorting’ is a euphemism for bribe-for-marks, a common phenomenon in Nigerian universities.

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A statement issued Saturday by the permanent secretary in the state ministry of education, Dagogo Hart, said Mr Wike has approved the removal of the two officers.

The statement was posted on Mr Wike’s Twitter and Facebook page.

An acting vice-chancellor, Opuenebo Owei, who was hitherto the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of academics, has been appointed to oversee the running of the school, the statement said.

The governor also ordered the suspension of staff recruitment exercise in the university.

“A committee has been set up to investigate the employment exercise and report to the Rivers State Governor in two weeks,” it said.

The university is said to have about 3,000 staff and 22,400 students in 2017.

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The sacked vice-chancellor, Mr Didia, 67, is a professor and medical doctor who had served as the chairman of Ikwerre local government area in the state.

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