By Prof Ngozi Ezenwa-Ohaeto
On Friday, 21st April, 2023, a publication of new appointments you made started circulating on various university social media platforms. I observed that I have been prematurely removed as the Deputy Director, SGS. Many people were surprised seeing that, and knowing that officially, the position usually lasts for two academic years, and that I have done only the first year, they could not understand that. Also, given that the Director who I was appointed together with was not also removed equally made the situation suspicious. They were not only surprised at your action but went on to ask questions about it. But I was not surprised because I got the hint of your move to replace me with Dr Adaoma Igwedibia immediately we came back from our trip to Germany in December, 2022. So your action was, undoubtedly linked to that trip.
It is helpful to recall what actually happened in that fully sponsored Germany trip. When Prof Klaus presented all the participants of that workshop with some documents that required our signature, I saw that the amount written on that document was at variance with what you, our Vice Chancellor, remitted to us as the financial package given to us by the organisers of that academic exercise. I was surprised thinking that there must have been a mistake somehow. So I had to ask questions like any reasonable person would. I asked other members of Awka contingent and no one could render any explanation as they were as surprised as I was. Prof Klaus himself first raised the issue telling us that the paper you, Prof Esimone, prepared bears 2000 Euro which made me understand that he already suspected what you did. All he wanted was confirmation from us and I confirmed to him that you gave us 2000 Euro instead of 3500 Euro we were made to sign.The difference in the amount was 1,500 Euro and the deduction was done by you from every one of us including from a lecturer II, a very junior staff.
At my level and experience, it will amount to stupidity to append my signature against an amount that was not remitted to me without asking questions and asking questions was what I did. That was the crime you felt and still feel I committed against you.
Connectedly before we set out for the trip, we got a message from you asking us to travel to Abuja for onward processing of our papers in preparation for the trip. We, the intended participants moved to Abuja as you instructed. One of us travelled all the way from Lagos. Unfortunately, that was the last time we heard from you during the whole time we spent on that wasted and frustrating trip. After three nights of lodging in a hotel and clearly seeing ourselves in a confused situation as no information was sent to us from you, our principal, to know our next step. Day after day, night after night I personally called you and sent you messages requesting your directives on what next to do; if we were to continue staying or leave the Abuja hotel. You NEVER responded to any of the calls nor to the messages and up until today you have not, out of courtesy, at least or show of sign of leadership, explained to us why we deserved such inhuman and wicked treatment from you. I remember clearly telling in one of the messages I sent you that we had run short of money for renewing our hotelThank you and best wishes.
Prof Ngozi Ezenwa-Ohaeto bills and for feeding. I also informed you that we had resorted to borrowing to avoid being asked out of the hotel rooms, yet you ignored and abandoned us. At the end, we spent six unplanned nights and later decided to come back to Awka. Meanwhile we learnt that you earlier left Abuja with Dr Adaoma Igwedibia without a single word to those you instructed to travel to Abuja. We felt sad, stupid, fooled and abandoned by you, our leader. I don’t want to go in details on your very petty behaviour at the Frankfurt airport where you told the driver sent to pick us that we missed the flight when you knew quite well that the reverse was the case.
Relatedly, I also found out that you, Prof Charles Esimone, our Vice Chancellor and our leader in that trip equally signed our per diem allowances from our university .That allowance never got to any of us and I want to ask you, my dear Vice Chancellor, what happened to the allowances you signed on our behalf?
Finally on the above issue, I think it is important to state that my appointment as Deputy Director of SGS is not a favour by any standard. In fact, I personally do not need the position to be relevant in any way. I am sure you appointed me DD based on your perception of me as capable and my ability to add my quota to make your project 200 achievable and I make bold to state that within that short period I was there before my removal, albeit unprofessionally, that I made some mark there. Go and verify!
KEEPING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Yes, you have removed me as a deputy director for daring to ask questions about my money you took. I have the feeling that you might go further than that hence this information on the origin of the partnership with the University of Muenster, Germany and the projects that emernated therefrom.
That project was first brought to Prof Ezenwa-Ohaeto Resource Centre by Dr Onyebuchi Ile to help him finance and manage the administration of a Prof Ezenwa-Ohaeto Center’s journal I appointed him as the editor. After examining the project we later decided to bring it to the Department of English so that our staff will also benefit from it. The information about the partnership was clearly recorded in the minutes of meetings held at the initial stages of the project. The meetings used to hold at the Centre and were sponsored by the Centre as well. Our decision to involve the English Department was what informed the partnership between the Centre and Department of English, the partnership you later decided by your actions to ignore and play down on.
You may wish to know that the project was sustained at the Department as a result of my singular efforts as the Chairperson of the LOC of the Workshop we organized to build capacity as requested by our German partners. You may also wish to know that the decision to involve the English department in the project was what metamorphosed into your involment because of your office as the Vice Chancellor of UNIZIK. That partnership metamorphosed into that German trip you participated in even though you are a pharmacist. That also metamorphosed into the per diem and the supporting money from Germany which you unfairly extorted from us. That decision metamorphosed into the Communication Skill that is now being hosted in School of General Studies. That involment was what metamorphosed into my removal as the Deputy Director of SGS.
Now I want to talk about the Communication Skill project. I have a hunch that you may also try to remove me from that project. If that is your next intended step, I suggest that you stop now because that may not end well. No threat intended anyway. I pray you understand.
NOTE finally that “Las las everybody go chop breakfast” and that all positions are transient.