The phrase it’s a man’s world may not mean much to you if you are of the male specie of mankind. But to the fair sex, coming to terms with this expression may well be the difference between making it in the world, or getting crushed by the powers that be.
If you add to that mix, the tribal sentiment embedded in the phrase Son/ Daughter of the soil, what you get is a recipe for ethnic and gender discrimination, which is the bane of our society’s development as it is today.
The damaging effects of this harsh social imbalance, has been brought home to us by the bittersweet story of Professor Angela Freeman Miri and the Federal University Lokoja – a tale which illustrates our reluctance to grow as a race, as well as buttresses the imperative need for a paradigm shift that will make for a healthier society.
This is a story of male chauvinism and ethnic discrimination at its peak, chanted by tribal jingoists who formed an alliance of resistance, immediately they heard that a female professor from another University had been appointed as Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Lokoja.
“Why a professor from the University of Jos, when we have qualified professors of our own here at the Federal University Lokoja?” “Why pick a woman instead of a man?” They faulted the federal government’s choice! And so they vowed to make life miserable for the incoming female vice chancellor – long before she even set foot on the shores of Lokoja. And boy did they make good their threats!
With this battle array formation, the stage was set for a showdown at the federal University Lokoja between the progressive forces led by professor Miri and conservative forces led by her rivals-in-chief. And with the brewing crises comes the need for a balanced reportage of the evolving imbroglio. Enter CSONEWS24!
This is an eyewitness account of the FUL story. CSONEWS24 has been a fly on the wall in the unfolding story. And in the twilight of professor Miri’s FUL reign, yours truly led a team of dispassionate and patriotic Civil Rights advocates to the Institution, for an independent audit and on-the-spot performance assessment of the professor Miri-led administration.
In the course of our evaluation, we fielded views from staff and students across both sides of the divide, with a detailed grilling of the Vice Chancellor to wrap up the evaluation exercise. This brought to the fore a lot of startling revelations!
First things first, we found that the newly appointed vice chancellor inherited paucity of funds, plus a disgruntled and undisciplined manpower – both of which conspired to frustrate her stewardship. Still, such an abysmal situation did not deter the conspirators from unleashing venom on the new vice chancellor, whose twin crimes were that she is a woman and she hails from another state.
In any case, the well-connected Professor Miri drew from her network of contacts, to attract TETFund’s interest into the Federal University Lokoja project, via her articulate vision and proactive leadership plan of action.
And with TETFund’s backing, the change catalyst began the journey of turning around the fortunes of Federal University Lokoja, from a promising Tertiary Institution to a modern day Ivory Tower.
But sacrificing integrity on the altar of mediocrity, the sworn enemies of progress dragged the female vice chancellor all over the place, despite the visible infrastructural transformation going on at the time.
From EFCC investigations through Courts cases, all the way to National Assembly probe – the detractors accused her of embezzlements and unimaginable infractions.
Interestingly, after investigations into each of these allegations, professor Miri was given a clean bill of health by the regulators.
Even so, the haters just wouldn’t give up. After all, they are avowed to pull her down, come what may!
However, in the midst of all the mudslinging and campaign of calumny, the woman now qualifies to be inducted into Nigeria’s hall of fame. How so?
Five years down the road, as professor Angela Freeman Miri leaves the Federal University Lokoja with her head high – having succeeded against all odds to set an unprecedented record of curricular and infrastructural transformation of the Institution – mixed reactions trail her exit.
Haters are chanting all kinds of Hate Speeches, whereas thousands of admirers are idolizing the woman who came, saw and conquered!
Unruffled by naysayers, she has observed quietly from the sidelines, while her haters continue to drag her name in the mud and dance with her reputation in marketplaces. If doing the work that will give hope to millions is a crime, professor Miri says so be it!
Even so, the words of Maya Angelou, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” keeps haunting her, because she believes the people deserve to hear her side of the story. But caution is her watchword – because she loves taking measured steps so as not to unwittingly do or say something and be misconstrued.
In Myke Ngbe’s opinion, people like professor Miri should not be blackmailed and cowered into docility and tameness, but should be unleashed to make valuable contributions to the quality of our lives. They have to speak up and be heard, so I convinced her to speak up the truth!
The words of Mahatma Ghandi readily come to mind, “Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi.
Therefore, with the encouragement from the sage above, Professor Angela Freeman Miri is emboldened to share her story with the world, just to set the records straight for posterity’s sake. That is why I am releasing this publication, in order to balance the narrative and give perspective to the story – because there are always two sides to a story, as we all know.
And with her kind permission, you can now peruse the details of professor Angela Freeman Miri’s stewardship at Federal University Lokoja (FUL).
A RUNDOWN OF PROFESSOR ANGELA FREEMAN MIRI’s ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT THE FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA.
- A Strategic Meeting with Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Kogi State, the first of its kind was held in August, 2016 with a view to enlisting the support of the Stakeholders for the rapid development of the University.
- Staff Verification and proper Placement which the 2nd Governing Council had approved and which outcome was diligently implemented.
- Re-Accreditation of all the Programmes in the Faculty of Science including Statistics with FULL ACCREDITATION marks by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
- Establishment of the School of Post-Graduate Studies and commencement of academic activities in 2019/2020 Academic Session.
- Successful Resource Verification of the Post-Graduate Programmes of the existing courses in the University at the PGD, M.Sc and Ph.D levels (with the exception of the Departments of Economics and Political Science that were denied approval to run Ph.D by the NUC. However, the Dean of the School of Post-Graduate Studies is following up on it with the full support of the University Management.
- Creation of additional Faculties from two (2) to five (5), namely; Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Education.
- Elections and appointment of Deans to oversee the Faculties were successfully done for the existing and new ones respectively.
- Creation of more academic Programmes from eleven (11) to forty one (41) with the appointment of Heads and Acting Heads of Departments.
- Establishment and commencement of Remedial Science Programme in the University.
- Installation of the first Chancellor for the University Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu AbaliIbn Muhammadu Idriss, CON, the Emir of Fika and Chairman, Yobe State Council of Chiefs on 22nd October, 2016.
- Successful conduct of the first, second, third and fourth Convocation ceremonies for the Award of Degrees to our deserving Graduating students.
- Training of 103 Academic staff both locally and internationally.
- Four (4) Academic staff went for Bench work abroad.
- 328 Staff attendance at Conferences/Workshop locally and internationally.
- Promotion of twenty six (26) Academic staff to the positions of Readership and Professorship following the positive Reports of the External Assessments of their Publications. It is noteworthy that more Reports are being awaited from External Assessors of some Academic Staff whose publications have also been sent out for assessment.
- Promotion of other categories of academic staff and non-teaching staff across board.
- Recruitment of more academic staff to boost the quality and numbers of our academics in the University.
- Increase in the population of students from 1,919 to 7,800 and members of staff (both Academic and Non-Teaching) from 893 to 1,241.
- Establishment of the Bindery Unit in the University Library.
- Establishment of the Centre for Research and Centre of Excellence in the University and Appointment of the Director for the Centre.
- Establishment of the University Liaison Office in Abuja, No.20A Mamman Kontagora Crescent, Diplomatic Zone, Katampe Extension, Abuja.
- Procurement of a Permanent Residence for the University Vice-Chancellor by the Governing Council, at the Government Reserved Area, Lokoja, Kogi State.
- Processing of Land Title for the University land at Felele (Permanent site).
- Movement of the University Administration to the Felele Campus (Permanent site) on Monday, 5th October, 2020.
With the completion and furnishing of the Faculty buildings constructed under the TETFund High Impact Intervention as well as the Faculties of Arts; Social Sciences; Education and Management Sciences faculty buildings, Hostel, CBT Centre, Students Multipurpose Centre etc.
2014 TETFund NORMAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS – YEAR: 2016
- Construction of Multi-Purpose Complex at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- Construction of Departmental Office Block at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Furnishing of Departmental Office Block at the AdankoloCampus, Completed and In-Use
- The Furnishing of Block of Laboratories and Classrooms at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Furnishing of Multi-Purpose Complex at the Adankolo Campus, completed and In-Use
- The Construction of Block of Laboratories and Classrooms at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Procurement of Computers and Printers at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Procurement of Book Titles in Biology, Computer and Political Science at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Procurement of E-Resources, Software and Journals at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Procurement of Library Furniture and Multimedia Equipment at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Procurement of Book Titles in Chemistry, English Language and Geography at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- Procurement of Book Titles in Economics, Geology, Mathematical Sciences & History at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use
- The Procurement of Reprographic and Bindery Equipment at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In-Use via the 2015-2016 (MERGED) TETFund
MAINTENANCE/REHABILITATION INTERVENTION PROJECTS – Year: 2019
- Re-Roofing & Renovation of Senate Building and Council Chambers at the Adankolo Campus, Completed and In use
2017 TETFund ZONAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS – Year: 2019
- Construction of Three (3) Blocks of Eight (8) Units Lavatory (Lot A) at the Felele Campus, Completed
- Construction of Two (2) Blocks of Eight (8) Units Lavatory (Lot B) at the Felele Campus, Completed
- Supply of One (1) Unit of Brand New 2017 Model 33-Seaters Yutong Coaster Bus (Diesel Engine) – Felele Campus, Completed and In-Use
2018 TETFund ZONAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS – YEAR: 2019
- CONSTRUCTION & FURNISHING OF COMPUTER BASED TEST (CBT) CENTRE – 250 Seating Capacity at the Felele Campus, Completed.
2019 TETFund ZONAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS – Year: 2020
- Procurement, Installation, Testing, & Commissioning of Office Equipment; 157Nrs HP Pro Desktop Computer at the Adankolo Campus, Delivered.
- Procurement, Installation, Testing, & Commissioning of Office Equipment; 157Nrs 650VA UPS, 30Nrs HP LaserJet P2035D Printers, 20Nrs Sharp Digital Photocopiers AR6020 with Motorized Projector Screens, 9Nrs HP Omen 15 Gaming Intel Core i7.770hq, 2TB HDD, 16GB RAM backlit at the Adankolo Campus, Delivered.
- Procurement, Installation, Testing, & Commissioning of; 100Nrs Solar Street Light at the Adankolo/Felele Campus, Delivered.
TETFUND 2016 – HIGH IMPACT INTERVENTION PROJECTS DETAILS
- TWIN LECTURE THEATRES – 250 Seating Capacity – LOT 1, Felele Campus, Completed.
- DEPARTMENTAL OFFICE BUILDING – LOT 2, Felele Campus, Completed.
- FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES-LOT 3, Felele Campus, Completed.
- STUDENTS MULTI-PURPOSE CENTRE-LOT 4, Felele Campus, Completed.
- FACULTY OF EDUCATION-LOT 5, Felele Campus, Completed.
- BLOCK OF CLASSROOMS/ LABORATORIES-LOT 6, Felele Campus, Completed.
TETFUND 2015 – 2018 Merged LIBRARY INTERVENTION PROJECTS DETAIL
- Procurement of Sharp AR-6031 NV Sharp Photocopier, Adankolo Campus, delivered.
- Procurement of Additional Books, Adankolo Campus, delivered.
- Procurement of Assorted Books, Adankolo Campus, delivered.
2016 CAPITAL PROJECT DETAILS – Year: 2017
- Construction of University Drama Village, Felele Campus, completed.
2017 CAPITAL PROJECTS DETAILS – Year: 2018
- Site Clearing, Construction of Drainages, Culverts and Fumigation Works (LOT A & B Merged), Felele Campus, executed.
2018 CAPITAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS DETAILS – Year: 2019
- Dual Carriage Road, Backfilling, Drainages and Culvert, Felele Campus, completed.
DITTO: ADDITIONAL WORK, Felele Campus, done.
2018 CAPITAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS DETAILS – Year: 2018
- Construction of University Gate, Gate House, frontal and Mini Perimeter Fence, Felele Campus, Completed.
DITTO: ADDITIONAL WORK, Felele Campus, Completed.
2018 CAPITAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS DETAILS – Year: 2018
- Procurement of official Vehicles for Principal Officers of the University; Supply of 5Nos of Toyota Camry and 1No of Toyota Prado Jeep, Supplied.
- Expansion/Remodelling of the University Health Services, Adankolo Campus, completed.
- Construction of One (1) Block of Four (4) Classrooms, Felele Campus, completed.
2014 NEEDS ASSESSMENT OF NIGERIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES (NANPU)- SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL INTERVENTION – PHASE II PROJECT DETAILS – Year: 2014
- Construction of Two (2) Storey Classroom Block; 12Nrs Classrooms, Adankolo Campus, Completed.
UNIVERSITY REVITALIZATION INTERVENTION FUND – NEEDS Assessment Projects (Equipping & Furnishing) – Year: 2019
- Equipping of Chemistry, Physics and Biology Laboratories (LOT I), Adankolo Campus, delivered.
- Supply and Equipping of Geology, Mathematics, Computer Science and Geography Laboratories (LOT II), Adankolo Campus, done.
- Procurement of Furniture for 12 Nos of Classrooms (LOT III), Adankolo Campus, supplied.
2017 MJ / OVER HEADs PROJECTS DETAILS – Year: 2017
- Overhauling and Repair of Generators; No.2(270KVA) and No.3 (220KVA), Adankolo Campus, executed.
2019 MJ / OVER HEADs PROJECT DETAILS – Year: 2019
- Landscaping/ Construction of Galvanized Chain Linked Fence at the Administrative Block of the University Permanent Site, Felele Campus, completed.
- Construction of 2Nos Block of Police Posts, Felele Campus, Completed
- 2018 – Construction of Student Centre for the Students Union, atAdankolo Campus
INTERVENTION FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER, WORKS HOUSING ABUJA, (WORK SECTOR) – INTERVENTION PROJECT
- 2018 – Rehabilitation of Internal Roads at Adankolo Campus, Federal University Lokoja
- 2018 – Opening Up of the Road Networks at the Felele Campus, Federal University Lokoja
INTERVENTION: FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES- INTERVENTION PROJECT
- 2020 Construction of Water Supply Scheme (Solar Power Boreholes with 100M3 Tank) at the Felele Campus, Federal University Lokoja
INTERVENTION: NIGERIAN COMMUNICATION COMMISSION (NCC)
- Donation of 115 E-Learning Pads to Federal University Lokoja.
INTERVENTION: REA/AfDB ELECTRIFICATIONS INTERVENTION
- REA/AfDB Electrification Intervention at the Felele Campus of the University.
To give form to words, here is a snapshot of some of Professor Angela Miri’s notable physical projects at Federal University Lokoja (FUL).
In the final analysis, the audiovisual documentary of all the interviews and projects sighted is available and will be broadcast shortly on major Tv and online channels. Stay Tuned!