President Goodluck Jonathan has at last condemned the mob action and the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt last October in Omuokiri, Aluu.
The president, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai at the 29th convocation of UNIPORT Saturday, said the incident which occurred in one of the university's neighbouring communities was condemnable and uncalled for.
He also said the federal government had earmarked N1 billion for the establishment of a Law Faculty in the University of Port Harcourt, half of which had been released to the institution.
Jonathan also charged the university to provide leadership for tertiary institutions in the country in the fields of oil and gas studies Jonathan , who is the Visitor to the university, also said the federal government would continue to create employment opportunities for youths in the country.
He said "the government is particularly interested in the commencement of Law programmes in this university. To demonstrate this commitment,
TETFund ( Tertiary Education Trust Fund) has already committed the sum of N1 billion to the project and released 50% of the amount to the university.
"Bearing in mind the location of this university, in the heartland of the Niger Delta, I expect UNIPORT to provide academic leadership in research and excellence, in petroleum related studies. It is desirable that the university formulates new initiatives in the control of gas flaring, oil spillages and in the optimal use of the bi-products of petroleum extraction", the president said.
In his own message at the event, the Rivers state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, said the state government would build a structure for the university in the name of one of the graduands, Chief Damien
Nweje, whom he said encouraged him to attain in life.
He also said the state government would institute a professorial chair in the university with a N10 million grant in honour of Professor Tam David-West, Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte (JSC), Professor Tekena Tamuno and Professor Otonti Nduka.
He also said government would wade into the challenge of land encroachment, which the university had been facing with communities around it, promising to see to resolving it.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Joseph Ajienka, said the successful accreditation processes that the university recently went through afforded it operations in various areas. The convocation ceremony witnessed the graduation of 6,935 graduads from various departments and for various degrees.
It also saw the conferment of honourary doctoral degrees on four distinguished personalities, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, renowned Historian and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan,
Professor Emeritus Tekena Tamuno, President, International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), Dr. Lamine Diack, as well as Prince Yemisi Adedoyin-Shyllon, a notable Arts patron. Among dignitaries who graced the event was the National Chairman of the ruling People's