The management of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUAU), have been accused of suspending two students who refused to attend a Taekwondo contest at the 29th World University Games held in Taiwan.
The students reportedly refused to attend the Taekwondo contest, after their head coach, Okechi Onwuka, was taken off their team and replaced with another university staff who knows nothing about sport or Taekwondo.
It was gathered that a letter dated May 24, 2018, and signed by the registrar, Jacinta N. Ogwo-Agu, conveyed the decision of the management of the school to suspend the students, which was passed by the University’s Senate at its sitting on April 18, 2018. The boycott was described as “an act of insubordination” and “an embarrassment to the university and the nation”.
“The University Senate, therefore, directed that you should be suspended from the University with immediate effect and your matter to be referred to the Students’ Disciplinary Committee,” the letter adds.
According to Icirnigeria, all letters written to the management of MOUAU to reinstate the suspended students so that they can graduate was thrown out.
The lecturer, Okechi Onwuka who has been the university’s taekwondo coach since 2008 and was employed as a lecturer in 2013, was also queried and accused of inciting the students to boycott the competition
“My efforts to convince the chairman of the Sports Committee, Chukwuemeka C. Chukwurah, and the University that the students are so immature to be exposed to such risk, as this is a combat sport, without their personal coach couldn’t yield any result,” Onwuka said.
“The university rarely sponsors us to participate in competitions outside the Nigerian University Games (NUGA),” he explains. “We train at the rough lawn tennis courts for lack of an indoor sports hall. I buy most of the equipment, handle training logistics and sponsor most of the competitions even when I am not under any emolument as a school coach” he added.