…Got soft landing from Sen. Samuel Anyanwu to allow her time to handover
The leadership crisis rocking Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri seem to have been laid to rest following the directive given to the provost, Dr. Blessing Ijioma to vacate office by the end of September.
The unions in the college had last week called for a congress for all the staff to update them of the situation. It was gathered that the management made effort to frustrate the congress, but it still held.
Eventually, it was during the congress that the letters from the ministry to the provost and Governing council was read to the entire staff.
The letter to the council which was signed of behalf of the Minister of Education by the Director of Tertiary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Fatima Jiddum Ahmed read in part “I am to advise you to direct the out-going Provost to hand over to the Deputy Provost as provided in the Colleges of Education Act”.
The letter emphasised in the first paragraph that the request of the provost, for approval to complete her tenure, as in the letter above, has not been approved. The council was further directed to commence the process for appointment of a substantive provost with immediate effect through advertisement for the post.
The letter to the provost from the Ministry was more emphatic and stated in part “…I am directed to advice you to retire at the mandatory age of 65 years on 2nd August, 2017, which comes before the completion of your tenure as Provost”.
The letter which was also signed on behalf of the Minister of Education, by the Director of Tertiary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Fatima Jiddum Ahmed, directed the out-going Provost to hand over to the Deputy Provost who will oversee the affairs of the institution pending the appointment of a new provost, stated categorically that the “request for extension of tenure on reaching the mandatory age of 65 years could not be approved in line with the provisions of extant circular HCSF/EMS/EIP/B 63694/IV/T/96 of 27th July, 2009 on interpretation of public service rules on compulsory retirement age/year of service in relation to tenured appointments of serving public officers”
It was based on this that the Senator Representing Imo East senatorial district, Senator Samuel Anyanwu pleaded with the unions to allow the provost till the end of September to prepare her handover note, and vacate office, effective 2nd October, 2017.
In the meantime, it was gathered that she is not allowed to undertake any major activity in capacity as Provost, during this period.