Briefing members of Convocation at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, said that the statutes of the University provided for a body known as Convocation made up of all graduates of the University, teachers in the University, as well as those with degrees from other recognised universities working in the University of Port Harcourt.
For the last group of persons, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed that they were required to formally apply for membership of Convocation and pay the prescribed fee before being admitted as members, adding that the Convocation played a major role in the development of each institution. Professor Lale cited the University of Lagos where alumni erected magnificent buildings for their alma mater. “The idea of alumni coming together is to help build the University and not to form political or economic interest blocs. The body is expected to mobilise alumni and other stakeholders for the accelerated development of the University,” he told the gathering.
On a motion moved by the National President of the Alumni Association, Mr. Sampson Ngerebara, Convocation voted to cede the position of its representative on the Governing Council exclusively to the Association, with a caveat that the election of such a person must take place on the floor of Convocation and not at a meeting of the Association in line with the enabling Act.
On another motion moved by the Executive Director of the University of Port Harcourt Foundation, Professor Henry Alapiki, and supported by the Director of the University of Port Harcourt Business School, Professor Okechuku Onuchuku, members of Convocation resolved to reschedule the election of a representation to Council, citing the scanty attendance at the gathering that included the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka and Principal Officers of the University. The meeting rose after further resolving that all alumni of the University, whether they formally registered with the Alumni Association or not, would be eligible to vote and be voted for in the rescheduled election into the Governing Council, even as the Vice-Chancellor appealed to all alumni to identify with the Association.