The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, says only compromised academics who were willing to submit names of politically exposed lecturers as returning officers to rig elections for the ruling party, were being appointed as Vice Chancellors of federal universities.
Wike, who warned Vice Chancellors and lecturers to be wary of attempts by some politicians to use them to manipulate elections, declared that those contemplating to rig elections in Rivers State would be treated as coup plotters.
He stated this during the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of 9,200-capacity ultramodern convocation arena of the University of Port Harcourt by the Rivers State government on Tuesday.
Wike said it was worrisome that Nigeria has degenerated to the point where politicians influence who becomes a Vice Chancellor for the purposes of rigging elections.
“Let me warn, not one person will dare to rig election in Rivers State. Not one person will dare it. I have told people, allow university community to produce those who will be leaders of this country. Don’t turn university community to be where you will have politicians who manipulate and change the mandate of the people. Anybody who does that, you know it is a coup and you know the punishment for coup plotters.”
The governor stressed that the reason why there was so much tussle over who becomes Vice Chancellor of federal universities was because of political interference by external forces.
He described as heartrending a situation whereby lecturers who were supposed to revered in society, willfully compromise their integrity, just to become Vice Chancellor, who would afterwards be used to manipulate elections.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, George Kelly D. Alabo, said the capacity convocation arena would have convertible compartments, offices, assembly hall, 750kva transformer and would be completed in 14 months.