By Peter Inyali
Staff and students of the University of Calabar have commended the Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu for his performance as the Returning Officer of the November 18, 2017 Anambra gubernatorial elections.
The election was viewed by many as one of the best conducted in recent times in Nigeria and despite observers saying the elections saw massive vote buying and low voters turnout which makes it not credible, the Public Relations Officer of UNICAL in his statement on the staff portal hailed Mr. Akpagu for being a great ambassador of the institution.
“Kudos to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Zana Akpagu and the ambassadors of the University that made us proud in the Anambra election,” Eyo wrote.
A broadcaster and lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Dr. Oshega Abang who was part of the team said the institution had demonstrated that it was a citadel of learning and center of intellectual competence
“UNICAL citadel of learning. Center of intellectual competence. Our outstanding performance at Awka speak volumes. I’m proud to be part of it,” Dr. Abang said.
For Ini Ekpo, Akpagu and others from the institution stole the show by remaining unbiased, unbending and uncorrupted in the election.
He said that: “Our smart VC, in your usual characteristic, you stole the show and made UNICAL proud. Kudos to you and the UNICAL team of unbiased, uncorrupted and unbending electoral officers.”
Meanwhile Dr. Donald Enu in his reaction said Mr. Akpagu should be considered a future head of the country’s electoral commission having performed well in his two outings.
“Our VC sir, after two successful and rigorous national outings on electioneering, you have not only earned a reputation for yourself but our great UNICAL. Having done the apprentice work perfectly, I hereby recommend that you be catapulted to become the next INEC Boss at the end of your tenure. Congratulations to you and Team UNICAL for making us proud,” he wrote.
The President of the Students’ Union Government, Afufu Anthony added that: “That is the spirit of malabitic tendency you have displayed my beloved father. Tracing antecedent of an incident, “Republicans” in Malabo Republik don’t take last! You are a true Republican who once resided in Malabo.
“You never fronted yourself first but you humbly projected UNICAL and made our Alma mater your topmost priority. That is the spirit of true leadership!”
Meanwhile, Mr. Akpagu in his response said he took advantage of the opportunity to throw the Varsity into limelight for positive reasons.
“Good morning Great Malabites and Malabresses! Thanks for all your kind words. You’ll notice that half way through the collation, I had to remove INEC cap and replaced it with “UNICAL” hat.
“I had to seize the opportunity to put our alma mater out there, “in their faces “. It was to take advantage of prime time TV viewing and trust UNICAL into national limelight. I did it for us all. Even Baba knew about our existence at that moment! That’s the UNICAL brand,” Akpagu said.
Despite the presence of former President Goodluck Jonathan for the People’s Democratic Party and incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari for the All Progressives Congress, the All Progressive Grand Alliance said to have been founded by the late Biafran leader, Odumegwu Ojukwu won the elections.
CrossRiverWatch’s Jonathan Ugbal contributed to this report