Following the Defence Headquarters’ declaration of the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation, the authorities of Federal Government-owned University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) have kicked against hosting the annual convention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and IPOB on the campus.
The school stated through its Deputy Registrar (Information, Publications and Public Relations), Dr. Williams Wodi, that the two groups did not apply to use the institution’s facilities before going on air to declare UNIPORT as the venue of their annual convention, declaring that the facilities would “certainly” not be available to them.
The attacks on Northerners by protesting IPOB members in the last five days in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, bordering Abia State, led to the killing of two policemen, destruction of valuable property, injuring of many innocent people, unprovoked violence and heightened tension in the state, with Kanu’s supporters in Abia and Rivers states still poised for war over allegation of attacks by soldiers and other security personnel.
The statement by UNIPORT said: “It has come to the notice of the authorities of the University of Port Harcourt that certain faceless individuals or groups have gone on air to announce the convening of an ‘Annual Convention,’ purportedly scheduled to hold in the university on Friday, September 29, 2017. The said announcement is being made in the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Indigenous People of Biafra.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the authorities of the university wish to state quite categorically that no individuals or groups had applied for permission to use any of the facilities for purposes of holding the purported ‘Annual Convention,’ as the announcements in the electronic media appear to indicate to unsuspecting members of the general public.
“We further wish to state that individuals or groups are not authorised to make use of facilities in the University of Port Harcourt without first applying and obtaining permission to do so.
“The general public is, therefore, advised to discountenance the ongoing announcements for whatever intent or purpose they were meant to serve.
“The faceless elements behind such embarrassing announcements are totally unknown to the authorities of the university and have absolutely no permission to hold such an event on our campus.
“The facilities of the university are certainly NOT available for the purpose stated in the said announcements.
“Even if the organisers/announcers have an intention to gather in the University of Port Harcourt, it remains a mere intention that cannot be actualised without the express permission of the authorities of the university.
“It is our hope that those making the post-haste announcements have no plans to drag the University of Port Harcourt into any controversy that is capable of distracting it from its core mandate of research, teaching and public service.”
It will be recalled that the heightened tension in Rivers State made Governor Nyesom Wike to yesterday morning make a state broadcast in which he declared that the Rivers State Government would not tolerate any attack on other Nigerians living in the state by members of IPOB or any other group, stressing that the state belongs to all those who live in it, with Rivers heartily welcoming any Nigerian who resides in the state and carries our his/her lawful businesses.