By Tony Edike
ENUGU – Renowned professor of gynecology, Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, is now the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Prof. Ozumba, former provost of the UNN medical school, defeated more than forty other contestants, including current Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Prof. Polycarp Chigbu., to emerge victorious.
The erudite scholar, who had contested in 2009 for the post of vice chancellor, following the expiration of the tenure of Prof. Chinedu Nebo, now minister of power, attended Government College, Umuahia, before proceeding to the University of Lagos, UNILAG, where he studied medicine.
After joining the services of the university, Ozumba rose rapidly and was elevated to the academic status of Professor after seven years of teaching. Apart from publishing more than 300 books, Prof. Ozumba, had training in different foreign universities, since after graduating from the University of Lagos and belongs to several local and international professional bodies.
After serving as Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UNN, Prof. Chukwuma Ozumba, was subsequently appointed Provost of the UNN College of Medicine in 2004 to 2008 and would be remembered for instituting the Prof. Chukwuedu Nwokolo annual lecture series for academic excellence, as well as founding the University of Nigeria College of Medicine Alumni Association, UNNCOMA.
Meanwhile, the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Bartho Okolo has said that he was leaving the university “better, richer and stronger” than the one he inherited at inception of his tenure five years ago.
Speaking during a farewell ceremony organised by the University of Nigeria for Okolo, the 13th vice chancellor of the institution, Okolo said he was leaving office a happy man, knowing that all the choices his administration made were for the best interest of the University.
He said that some of the decisions his administration took might have been despised by some people, but the results of his choices would impact positively on the University in the years to come.
“I have no doubt in my mind that I am handing over a university that is better, richer and stronger than the one I inherited five years ago. Even detractors and pessimists acknowledge the far reaching developments that have taken place in our university”, he said.
Prof. Okolo said that although his administration was maligned by some disgruntled individuals in the University, he bears no grudges against anyone. “It is my wish that no other Vice-Chancellor experiences the kind of distraction, disrespect and impudence that I had to endure in the course of my tenure.
However, for the records, I do not bear grudges, largely because the dramatis personae are not deserving of my long term emotions”, he said.
He implored the University community to support the in-coming administration to enable it achieve greater development for the University, stating that UNN is not likely to go back to where it used to be.
Chairman of the occasion and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Prof. Oleka K. Udeala described Okolo as “an award winning Vice-Chancellor, a magician of no mean repute and a man who sees danger as his business”. Udeala, a professor of pharmacy, was the first alumnus to be appointed Vice Chancellor of the institution.