The management of Eastern Palm University, Ogboko has announced the closure of the institution with immediate effect.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tola Badejo, who briefed journalists today, April 28 in Owerri, said that the management took the decision following the ownership tussle between former governor Rochas Okorocha and the state government.
The state government seized the university from the ex-governor in February. In a public announcement, the government said the state’s fund was used to build the institution.
But Okorocha had continued to deny any wrongdoing during his tenure as governor of the state.
The vice-chancellor said the decision to close the university was taken to safeguard the lives of the students and staff of the institution.
“The recent visit by the Imo State Commissioner for Education ordering the students to leave the premises was unsettling for the institution. The recent removal of the university’s entrance billboard by the Imo State Government and its replacement with the proposed renamed K. O Mbadiwe university by the government-aided armed policemen is simply one action too many.
“Antics and actions by the Imo State government have disrupted the academic activities of the institution and have stirred an air of panic and discomfort in a place that is designed to bring a sense of purpose to the young bright minds within its walls.
“The decision to shut down was made upon the heels of the recent and incessant harassment by the Imo State Government and its total disregard for the court judgment of the state High court on this matter.
“All students and parents are urged to contact the registrar’s office in order to gain better insight and support during this period. Creating a healthy and conducive environment for learning is key to our operations at Eastern Palm University and as such a parameter we cannot trade.”