By George Odok
Calabar, Sept. 14, 2020 Some members of the National Assembly from Cross River have congratulated Prof. Florence Banku-Obi on her emergence as the first female Vice Chancellor elect of the University of Calabar.
Their congratulatory letters were made available to Newsmen on Monday in Calabar.
Prof. Banku-Obi was elected as the 11th substantive VC of the University on Sept. 10 in Calabar while her appointment letter was presented to her by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the institution Governing Council, Sen. Nkechi Nwaogu, on Sept. 11 in Calabar.
The Senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District, Prof. Sandy Onor, said in his letter that the appointment of Banku-Obi was a call to higher service.
“With every sense of responsibility, I write to congratulate Prof. Banku-Obi on her resounding victory at the interview for the selection of the 11th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar.
“As an acclaimed quintessential amazon and trail blazer who has distinguished herself in scholarship and administration, your victory has not come as a surprise to many of us.
“Your well-deserved appointment is a call to higher service and we pray that you use the office to set a trajectory for others as you have always done.
“You have traversed the length and breadth of the academia and you are most strategically equipped to deploy your wealth of experience to reposition the University of Calabar for global competitiveness,” Onor said.
He prayed God to grant her wisdom, foresight and the spirit of excellence as she mount the saddle as the 11th Vice Chancellor and the first female Chief Executive of the University.
Similarly, Sen. Gershom Bassey, who represents Southern Senatorial District, stated that her victory was not only a win for all, but a great stride in the liberation for all women.
He said it was an indication that the University of Calabar has keyed into the actualisation of gender equality which is Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
“University of Calabar has set the path by having her first female Vice Chancellor, showcasing that women engagement in leadership is crucial to National development and the general development of any institution,” he said.
Bassey also expressed his confidence in the capacity of Banku-Obi to consolidate on the gains of her predecessor and her ability to take the University of Calabar to an enviable height.
Rep. Legor Idagbo, representing Bekwarra/Obudu/Obanliku Federal Constituency of Cross River in the National Assembly, described Banku-Obi appointment as “historic and outstanding”.
“Having emerged first among more than 10 other candidates who vied for the position was a testimony to her intelligence and academic prowess and I am confident of her managerial competence and exceptional leadership ability,” he said.
Also, Rep. Mike Etaba (Etung/Obubra Federal Constituency of Cross River), said Banku-Obi emergence as the head of the institution is not a fluke but a result of hard work, perseverance, and steadfastness which she has carried since joining the university 30 years ago.
He maintained that Banku-Obi who was the former Dean of the Faculty of Education, will carry with her the experience and acumen upon which she has displayed in other leadership positions to the VC-ship and lift the University of Calabar to an enviable height.
“Prof. Banku-Obi comes with a wealth of experience, having risen from the rank of a Graduate Assistant to being a Head of Department, the only Dean of Faculty of Education to be re-elected back into the office, and Deputy VC Academics in the university.
“Prof. Banku-Obi is a committed and student-friendly Don, and has carried with her that reputation everywhere she goes, building a vast network of contacts, both within and outside the University, and it is my hope that she is not shy to call on this bank of connection for the good of our university,” he said.
Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Mr Eteng Jonah-Williams, also congratulated Banku-Obi for becoming the first woman to pilot the affairs of the institution 45 years after its establishment.
“This is a well-deserved appointment, as your wealth of experience as a former Deputy Vice Chancellor, former Dean as well as your commendable engagement within and outside the university community has prepared you for this enormous responsibility.
“As a renowned academic, there is no doubt that you will bring your expertise as a scholar and manager of people to bear in your new role as the Vice-Chancellor of the University.
“It is our hope and expectation that you will put your leadership skills to bear and continue to make the university a pacesetter in the nation’s educational sector.
“We are confident that with your leadership, the university will continue to produce great men and women that will bring about a better Nigeria and also improve the world at large,” he said.