By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – ELDERS of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) Alumni Association (FAA) have distanced selves from the Alumni’s condemnation of the varsity’s award of professorship to Isa Pantami.
The group in a statement signed by Dr Victor Ijeh, Chairman, further took exception to the general body’s assertion that the Alumni Elders forum was not recognized by the association’s constitution.
FAA in statement by Ndubuisi Chijioke, National President and Kingsley Azuaru, National Secretary had aligned with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in terming the award of professorship on Pantami as “inexplicable and questionable”, advising FUTO management to reconsider the appointment.
The Alumni Elders, in the response through Dr. Ijeh noted that they, “Have individually expressed their views to relevant stakeholders of FUTO. This matter is now in court, and it is incivism to decide for the court.
“The elders are monitoring the situation and dissociate selves from the position made by FAA officials. We will remain cautious and objective as possible, and will not be drawn into any form of mindless activism to satisfy anybody”.
On non recognition by the FAA they stated that, “FUTO Alumni Elders as a group of pioneer graduates of FUTO who by their reckoning, experience, years of graduation, contributions to FUTO, society at large and numerical age have attained the status of veterans and elders in our society.
“This group was formed to synergize and make more meaningful contributions for sustainable development of our prestigious institution. FUTO Alumni Elders are also members of FAA, and there is no ambiguity whatsoever.”
They further explained that, “The re-union dinner held in Lagos on February 18, 2022 was conceived ab initio by Alumni Elders, and solely sponsored by financially capable members of Alumni Elders. FAA Lagos branch was invited, and the Elders also reached out to some NEC members of the association to which no prior contrary views were expressed.
“It is therefore, a blatant display of rascality and sheer abuse of office for a few NEC members of FAA to issue such embarrassing and ill informed publication to cast aspersions on the good intentions of the Alumni Elders”