UniPort Mgt Pledges Support For Religious Groups On Campus

The Management of the University of Port Harcourt has pledged continued support for the three religious groups approved by the Federal Government to operate on the campuses of Nigerian Universities. Management also restated its resolve to closely regulate student fellowships to ensure that they carry out their activities within the approved rules and regulations. 

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Regina Ogali, made the pledge when she hosted the Chaplain of Our Saviour’s Chapel (Interdenominational), The Very Reverend Israel Nwachukwu. The Chaplain who was accompanied by his wife, Doris, led some members of the Chapel Management Council on a courtesy visit to the Management of the University at the Senate Building on Monday, June 22, 2020.

Professor Ogali, who currently oversees the affairs of the University in the absence of a substantive Vice Chancellor, expressed happiness that The Very Reverend Nwachukwu finally paid an official visit to the Management after spending nine months as the OSC Chaplain.

“We are happy that you finally paid us the much-anticipated courtesy visit today. I am aware that this visit was repeatedly put off due to some operational reasons before our outgoing Vice Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale proceeded on his Annual Leave. Let me on behalf of the University formally welcome the Chaplain of Our Saviour’s Chapel to the University and wish him a fruitful missionary experience here. As we all know, the Federal Government approved three worship groups in the University for the Protestants congregations, Roman Catholic Church and the Muslim faith. Our Saviour’s Chapel is supposed to take care of denominations that left the Roman Catholic Church, but what we see is mushrooming of fellowships everywhere on campus, including classrooms and open courts. As a responsible Management, we will continue to encourage registered religious bodies to cater for the spiritual needs of their members within the rules. We will not allow indiscriminate religious activities that are at variance with the rules and regulations of the University. We have also noted the other suggestions you made to ensure proper spiritual nourishment of our staff and students,” Professor Ogali assured the Chaplain.

She congratulated the Man of God on his recent elevation to the post of Very Reverend by the Methodist Church, urging him to use his new position to give spiritual direction to the University community beyond his OSC congregation.

In her remarks, the Registrar, Mrs Dorcas Otto, joined in welcoming The Very Reverend Nwachukwu to the University, urging him not to relent in praying for the spiritual and academic growth of the University. Mrs Otto promised religious groups operating on campus that the authorities would continue to provide them an enabling environment to discharge their spiritual duties to their members.

Earlier, in his address, The Very Reverend Nwachukwu, felicitated with Professor Ogali for being adjudged worthy to oversee the affairs of the University, pending the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor. The Chaplain enjoined her to utilise the rare opportunity to advance the rising profile of the University.

The Chaplain used the opportunity to express concern over the proliferation of fellowships and cut-throat competition for membership amongst churches that are based outside the campus. “It is commendable that the University has for long, provided places of worship for two earliest broad divisions of Christian Associations of Nigeria. Hence, the competitive movements whereby Churches outside the University environment come in with their vehicles to scout for worshippers, especially on Sundays, is unwarranted and should be discontinued. Student or staff who may not wish to identify with any of the approved denominations in the University should individually pave their way outside the environment to wherever they may wish, to avoid the unacceptable situation in which Churches outside the campus troop in with buses to compete for who will attract more followers. Souls are not really revived this way, neither is character enhanced through such act,” the Chaplain bemoaned.

Other Principal Officers in attendance were the Bursar, Dr Felicia Ayuwo and University Librarian, Dr Susan Umeozor, while the Chaplain was also accompanied by the Vice Chairman of the Chapel Management Council, Professor Ikechukwu Agbagwa, Secretary, Dr Kennedy Ogunwa and Leader of OSC Revival Youth Fellowship, Chumu Emmanuel.

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