President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the host communities of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) to exhibit greater cooperation with the management of the university, saying that the lingering land conflict will not augur well for the growth of the university.
Buhari, who spoke at the 32nd convocation ceremony of the Federal University asked the host communities to see the sitting of the university in their land as blessing and partner with the school authority to help its expansion and development.
The president, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education Emeka Nwajuba, said that it was not a mark of weakness on the part of the Federal government in not taking possession of the land forcefully because it was legitimately acquired, but as a responsible and engaging government prefers to dialogue and engage with the stakeholders in reaching peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The president said that the Federal government has through the Ecological Fund office approved the rehabilitation of the erosion site on the Otamiri River Bank and the university Footbridge, adding that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has also been granted approval for the construction of the Research and Technological park and the food Science and Technology FST pilot plant in the university.
He urged the school authority to ensure effective Supervision and execution of the project, stressing that the government will not relent its commitment towards ensuring peaceful and stable academic activities through interface with unions and other stakeholders so that they can achieve stable higher education.
Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, commended president Buhari for his support in the university and also described the Institution as indeed of academic of higher distinction which they proud of its numerous accomplishment.