T. A. Orji Sacks Abia Poly Rector, Elder Allwell A. Onukaogu

Elder A. A. Onukaogu

Abia State Government, amidst months of unpaid workers’ salaries,  has removed rector of the state Polytechnic, Aba, Sir Allwell Onukaogu, and the Provost of the state College of Education Technical, Arochukwu (ASCETA), Dr. Christian Nwanmuo.

This is even as both teaching and non-teaching staff of Abia State Polytechnic on Monday embarked on an indefinite strike over unpaid salaries and other emoluments.

Prof. Eleazar Ikonne, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of Abia State University will replace Sir Onukaogu, while Prof. Nnenna Kanno is to take over at ASCETA.

While the staff members of Abia State Polytechnic were owed six months salary arrears, their ASCETA counterparts were also owed six months salary after that of April was paid last week.

According to a terse statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Nkpa Agu Nkpa, the heads of the institutions were removed due to unspecified issues in their schools.

They were directed to hand over to their successors on or before Tuesday next week.

The government’s action took many by surprise because while Onukaogu had few months to the end of his second tenure as the rector of the state polytechnic, Nwamuo was recently re-appointed provost against strong opposition by the workers.

When our correspondent visited the Abia state Polytechnic, Aba, yesterday, some lecturers who spoke to our correspodent on the condition of anonymity were in jovial mood over the development as they accused the sacked Rector of always threatening the welfare of staff with levity leading to the backload of unpaid salaries despite the huge government subvention to the institution.

One of the Lecturers in Abia State Polytechnic, Aba yesterday said; " We dont know what the Rector does with money. He is always owing us six months arrears of salary. If it enters seven or eight months, he will the two months to maintain the six months. The last time he complained of lack of money, the governor increased the subvention to over N120 million. With our IGR, there will be no problem of paying salaries. Abia Poly is now indebted to several banks that we cant count the number again. We are not deceived by the new building because they were all erected with TETFUND money.”