A serious tragedy has struck at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria throwing the academy into deep mourning.
Engr. Anthony Isiodu
The acting rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Anthony Isiodu, has died.
Isiodu died just seven months after the death of his predecessot Joshua Okpo, the substantive Rector of the Oron, who died in Abuja.
Isiodu was said to have died of a heart related disease.
According to Independent Nigeria, Isiodu who was appointed Acting Rector of the Academy by Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, died in the early hours of Monday at National Medical Centre, Abuja.
He was believed to be having health issues as at the time he was appointed.
It was gathered that he got the appointment by virtue of being the most senior academic staff of the nation’s foremost maritime academy after the death of Okpo in December 2015.
Ishiodu, an indigene of Imo State, was before his appointment as the Acting Rector, the Chief Lecturer and Head of Marine Engineering Department of the Academy.
Investigation further revealed that he had visited England recently for treatment, after being granted special permit to do so by the Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.
He returned to Nigeria about two weeks ago.
Ishiodu was the first ex-cadet of the academy to have risen to the exalted office of Rector in the institution.
Late Engr. Ishiodu was a pioneer cadet of the School of Marine Engineering. He was further trained in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt.
He further obtained his Ph.D in the specialty of Maritime Transport from the University of Calabar, Cross River State.
He was a Staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) before joining the Academy in 2000.
Sources at the academy disclosed to Independent that the succession battle that trailed the death of Okpo before Isiodu’s appointment in acting capacity has reopened.
While it was alleged that some non-academic staff had indicated interest in the position with intense lobby on the minister, another group within the Oron community had been moving to have an indigenous person appointed to the position.
The interest of the second group however suffered a setback as the newly appointed Registrar is from Oron. It is being argued that Oron community of Akwa Ibom as a state cannot produce the Registrar and Rector in Federal Government Institution as it violates the principles of Federal Character and fairness.
Tension had reigned in the academy with copious petitions when it was alleged that one family from the Oron community has more than three persons on the management team of the academy with a couple jostling for Rector and Registrar.
Some cadets of the school who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that the succession struggle has had adverse effects on teaching and learning in the school.