OPINION

Two Uniport Professors In A Dagger Drawn – Peter Henry-Dee

The Holy book of the Bible: Psalms 11:3 asks the rhetoric question saying “if the foundation be destroyed, what shall the righteous do”?

This Biblical quotation aptly describes the current ugly happening in the University of Port Harcourt.

In that university, two professors of high academic standing in their chosen fields are at daggers drawn (fighting).

On one hand, is the Vice Chancellor, Professor Lale and on the other hand, is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Professor Andrew Efemini.

Just about two weeks ago, Prof Efemini canvassed for the sacking of the VC making some allegations bordering on poor management of the university in all ramifications.

But in a spontaneous reaction, some of the university officials came out in defence of the VC and informed the public that Prof Efemini is the actual trouble maker.

Investigations have shown that the university community is divided along battle lines, with each principal actor (fighter) having his own supporters, even among members of the public.

The two professors have forgotten that when two elephants fight, the grass suffer.

This was the case in Bangalore University, where 1,189 out of 3,000 students failed a cause in a semester examination due to an internal squabbles between two professors.

It took the intervention of the VC to remedy the situation.

Unfortunately, in the case of the University of Port Harcourt tango, the VC is embroiled.

So who is going to set the committee that will make peace, especially now that Prof Efemini has again raised the alarm that the VC plans to sack to sack him. He also alleged that the VC wants to deny him his July salary.

When adults have forgotten or have decided to abandon their core responsibilities; when men have jettisoned their core mandate and the objectives establishing their work place; when people forget their callings and get into dirty/dangerous power tussle; when two professors fight, the resultant effect shall be colossal.

Now that they no longer care about the loss in value system. What then shall the students they teach and lead learn or do ?

Perhaps, they have forgotten their functions as members of the highest academic rank in the university community and are carried away by the mondaine things of the world today.

(1) For a VC:
The Vice-Chancellor is the principal academic and administrative officer of the University. He secures the financial base sufficient to allow the delivery of the University’s mission, aims and objectives; Carries out certain important ceremonial and civic duties.

(2) Professor’s role:
A Professor is expected to exercise a special responsibility in providing leadership and in fostering excellence in research, teaching, professional activities and policy development in the academic discipline within the school, faculty and University-wide, as well as within the community, both scholarly and generally.

The two fighting professors in the University of Port Harcourt should quickly be reminded of their duties above and not to engage in a public show of shame.

If they are fighting for the interest of the university, they know the right place to do so.

They should please allow us some peace. We are already having more than enough trouble from the political actors, poverty and bandits, including brouhaha from the herdsmen.

The time for the GOVERNING COUNCIL of UNIPORT to act is now, the time for the SENATE of the university to act is now, the time for the former VCs, the ALUMNI ASSOCIATION of the University of Port Harcourt and other STAKEHOLDERS in the EDUCATION INDUSTRY to intervene and act right IS NOW.

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