From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike, has urged the management of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolmeni, Port Harcourt, to root out sexual harassment, cultism, exam malpractice and other social vices in the institution.
Wike, who stated this during the 38th convocation ceremony of the University on Saturday, reiterated his commitment to transform Rivers into a knowledge-based state.
Represented by his deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said he would ensure that all state owned tertiary institutions are adequately staffed and provided with a fair share of resources, qualified staff and development projects to enable them to deliver world-class education and training, among others.
He said: “Education remains one of the top priorities of our Government and we will not relent in our efforts to ensure that every child gets equal access and opportunity to get the quality education they need up to tertiary level to progress productively irrespective of their backgrounds.
“Maintain discipline and high ethical standards in the University, you must root out the ills of sexual harassment, cultism, examination malpractice, sorting, sale of hand-outs, and extortions of any form in the system.”
Wike, however, warned the Management of the University not to dilute or distort its mandate and essence by introducing academic programmes that are neither within the contemplation of the enabling law or approved by the National Universities Commission, stressing that “It is a specialized University for the training of teachers and school administrators and there is no reason compelling enough for us to change that warrant”.
In his remarks, the Pro- Chancellor of the University¸King Aaron Miller Ikuru, extolled Governor Wike’s massive infrastructural development of the State, adding that the Governor’s recent pronouncement of the creation of 5,000 jobs in the Civil Service of the State is a veritable post- palliative largesse, unique to Rivers State.
In his Address, the Vice- Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, said this year’s convocation was conducted in batches without parents , guardians, friends and well-wishers in attendance due to the Covid -19 pandemic and the small size of the auditorium.
According to him, a total of 3,747 persons graduated, adding that 205 graduands had the Doctor of Philosophy(PhD), 1,087 Master Degrees, 521 Postgraduate Diploma and 1,934 Bachelor’s Degrees, while 78 of the graduates obtained First Class Honours Degree.