For an unconfirmed, rumoured withdrawal of its university status, the staff and students of the Alvan Ikoku College or university (we don’t know what it is now) had a massive, disruptive demonstration which has been widely publicized. It is supposed to have by now attracted the attention of the federal government that was responsible for elevating Alvan into a university. But it has said nothing to debunk or confirm the rumour.
Not only the college community, Imo state and the entire Igbo people of the South-east are aghast and appalled by that rumour. One wonders why such an issue which is bound to stoke public outrage and sensibilities uncontrollably should be left un-clarified for a long time. No source was given for the dangerous rumour. And why would an academic community act on unfounded rumours over such an explosive issue? When the Imo state government reacted, it denied that such a move was ever made. It trivialized the issue by politicizing it as propaganda. Suppose it turns out to be true?
Well, we believe both the state government and the demonstrators by half. The propaganda could be true, given the way people of the South-east have been excluded so far from key federal appointments. To be credible, the state government should extract a rebuttal from the president who is in a position to do and undo in the matter. Nothing but a re-affirmation that Alvan remains a university as said will be acceptable. Just an unauthorized denial of the rumour will not do.
Without further delay, President Buhari should lend credence to that position of the state government that Alvan will not be reverted to what it was. The withdrawal of the college’s university status is a pill the people cannot swallow. It will be too sour in the mount of any Igbo man. It will constrain the tenuous political cord linking Ndigbo and the new APC federal government to the breaking point. It is an expensive joke, added to the slow motion at the 2nd Niger Bridge. The trend is not good for the unity of the country, as a northern elder had earlier cautioned. We cannot but agree.