By Uche Okoroafor
It is inconceivable that a man with low IQ, low depth of knowledge and bereft of comprehension of basic grammar and usage of the English language which is the official communication medium in our schools was ever allowed to darken the four walls of an institution of higher learning like Abia State College of Education, Technical, Arochukwu,(ASCETA). But those who sought to help KELVIN EGESI by elevating him from a mere clerk to lecturer may not have known that one cannot give what one lacks. They failed to understand the simple adage which posits that no matter how you brush up a pig, it will still head to the mud.
So , I was not really surprised when KELVIN EGESI in his latest tirade against the Provost,Dr Phillips Nto, further exposed his ignorance by dabbling into issues that are beyond his academic competence. By shamelessly displaying his lack of basic communication skills and grammar, Egesi went on a voyage of self serving attacks on the person of Nto in the name of drawing attention to the perceived ills in ASCETA.
Indeed,it is no longer news that Egesi harbours a deep seated hatred and animosity against the Provost. It only took his sack as a result of redundancy (long overdue anyway) for him to bare his stunted fangs in an orgy of undisguised vendetta against an innocent man.
In his latest vitriolic personal attacks on the hardworking Provost of ASCETA, Egesi raised fundamental issues bordering on integrity, competence and transparency in the running of the college. Unfortunately,driven by frustration and actuated by malice, Egesi went overboard and in the process recklessly defamed not only the Provost but deans and directors of the college.
He talked of lack of regulatory compliance,lack of due process in selection and appointments,lack of promotion and financial implementation, lukewarm ( he said it is lookwarm) attitude of the Provost in appointing a deputy, incompetence of management and lack of transparency. As usual ,he hid under the canopy of concerned citizens ( who knows (sic) that our governor is an educationist) to sell his defamatory statements.
Ordinarily, what Egesi mentioned are only but a rehash of his lies aimed at drawing public sympathy after he was involved in the ongoing reorganization exercise in the college. It is ironic that for seven years, Egesi saw those ‘evils’ but lost his voice until he was relieved of his appointment. One could have said his outburst is as a result of frustration. But again, he has stated his mission which is to supplant Phillips Nto as the Provost.
Let’s look at the allegation of lack of regulatory compliance. Egesi wants the world to believe that the structures and equipment executed by TETFUND under Dr Phillips Nto are substandard. Since seeing is believing,one only has to take a trip to ASCETA to inspect those buildings and equipment. But beyond that, Egesi needs to understand how Tetfund works. When once a job is approved, the agency sends its technical people to supervise every stage of the execution. It is instructive that payment is released in tranches based on the stages of execution. But most importantly, except a job is satisfactorily executed and certified, no payment would be made and no new project would be awarded. Except Egesi is saying that all the experts at TETFUND are fools and he,a dullard,knows better, then he should be allowed to continue to live in denial.
Again,in the course of awards and execution of contracts, the officials of Bureau for Public Procurement are involved. As far as I know, ASCETA under Dr Phillips Nto,has never breached any of the provisions. This quite unlike when Egesi’s godfather was in charge and many of such projects were abandoned leading to the blacklist of ASCETA by TETFUND. It took the coming of Dr Phillips Nto for the sanction to be lifted after he sourced money to complete those abandoned projects.
It is funny that these solid structures,more than 10 of them which have been certified by the regulatory authorities are described as shambles by Egesi. These structures were acknowledged by Traditional rulers of Arochukwu kingdom, the commissioner for education and prominent people as the best. Egesi is using laptops supplied by TETFUND. He had an air-conditioning device in his office, a luxury he never enjoyed until the coming of Dr Phillips Nto. But that does not make any meaning. He only wants the job of Dr Phillips Nto.
When Egesi talked about lack of due process in appointments, he only means that he should have been allowed to make those appointments himself. Otherwise,those invested with the power exercised their powers justly. Dr Okorie should not have been denied his deserved appointment just because he hails from the same community with the Provost. He is qualified as TETFUND desk officer,that’s why he has been working harmoniously with the agency. Before him, the story was different. As for the Registrar and the Bursar, they were interviewed and appointed by the Governing Council and their services transferred from the Civil Service Commission. Okey imuoh was never a staff of ASCETA but Radio Nigeria,so the question of sacking him never arose.
Human greed is insatiable. Egesi, alongside others,was promoted by the current management. Unfortunately,the resources of the state could not carry the financial implementation. Maybe Egesi is angry that after he placed a curse on Gov Okezie Ikpeazu and Phillips Nto to die within nine days for owing him, the gentlemen are still alive.
Like I said,the appointment of a deputy provost is beyond Egesi. Because he is not in management,he doesn’t even know that a candidate had been selected before the death of the chairman of the college’s Governing Council. He is just angry that his preferred candidate didn’t make it. But let him be honest for once and tell the world that the two previous administrations did not appoint a deputy provost. It was Dr Phillips Nto that appointed one whose tenure just recently expired.
The defamatory statements that laptops got missing under Dr Phillips Nto or found their way to a school in Agbama should be taken up by the lawyers of the Provost to compel Egesi to provide proof. All these are mere shadow boxing, a case of giving a dog a bad name to hang. Without prejudice to former provosts, Dr Phillips Nto has achieved so much for ASCETA. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either blind or mischievous or both. To the best of my knowledge,Dr Phillips Nto has made the difference. That was why he was reappointed by His Excellency, Gov Okezie Ikpeazu. A million egesis cannot change that fact and no matter how hard he works to tarnish the image of the management, his efforts would remain futile.
Mazi Uche Okoroafor wrote from Atani, Arochukwu