The aggrieved staff of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike on Wednesday, 21st December 2017 staged a peaceful protest in front of the administrative building of the institution. They querried the legality of the regularization interview being organized by the management of the institution led by Prof Francis Otunta.
According to them, they were duly and legally employed by the administration of the former Vice Chancellor, Professor Hilary Odo Edeoga between September 2015 and February 2016 but were summarily dismissed by Prof. Otunta, who claimed that their appointments did not follow due process.
According to the group, the Nigerian Senate had invited Professor Otunta to its committee on ethics, privileges and public petition on the 5th December 2017 following a petition sent to the Senate on the 7th September 2017. The aggrieved staff numbering over 813 made it clear that their names were captured in the 2017 budget approved by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and they were all captured permanent and pensionable and wondered why Prof. Otunta should suspend them. Their names were also in the federal character commission list which was as a result of the interviews and regularization conducted by the previous administration of Prof. Edeoga.
According to them, since the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is yet to send their report to Prof. Otunta and his team, there should be no form of regularization since it was conducted between 16th and 17th February 2016. They are therefore appealing to the Federal Government, Abia state Government and other stakeholders in Abia state to call Prof. Francis Otunta to other.