The group have been urging the Federal Government to confirm Dr. Mkpandiok Ante Mkpandiok, an Oron native who had been serving the role as acting rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom State since July 2016. And on Wednesday, a visit from the newly appointed rector, Comodore Duja Effedua of Delta State was interrupted by the locals who denied him entry to the institution.
The Federal Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi recently appointed a six-man Interim Management Committee (IMC) to look after the affairs of the institution on September 6th. The committee is chaired by Chief Adebayo Sarumi and tasked with advising the government on the best way to restructure and reposition the academy, with Commodore Effedua as the new rector. Effedua is a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Locals and the academy stakeholders have since rejected the appointment, branding it as a “political appointment by cabals” and a continuous denial of prominent role for an Oro indigene.
They also feel marginalized considering a local indigene is being removed from the prominent role, one they feel is rarely extended to the community. According to one of the community elders:
The First registrar of the Academy from Oro Nation, Mr. Oboho O. Oboho, was included in the downsizing of 1994; Mr. Effiong Okon Essang from the host Community was wrongly accused by Engr. I. O. Akinsoji and murdered under mysterious circumstances while on official duty; Engr. Okon Edward Bassey, was rubbished out of office after acting for only one year as acting rector; Mrs. M.P. Esin was denied the post of Bursar and she died mysteriously while in active service; and Mrs. Veronica E. Etim was removed from office after acting as rector for one week.
We feel this must stop or they would be tempted to think otherwise. That while awaiting the take-off of the proposed Federal University of Maritime Studies, the current Management team of MAN, Oron, headed by Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok as acting Rector, should be allowed to midwife the transitional processes pending the commencement of university programmes when a substantive Vice Chancellor shall have been appointed
The Presidency has been asked to weigh in on the ongoing crises and appease to the demands of the local community by reversing the new appointments.
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron is the premier maritime institution operated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It has been a highly regarded institution in the country.