CUIB crisis: Return of peace insight as Father Nkeze surrenders

The past few weeks have seen the Catholic University Institute of Buea, CUIB rocked by a power struggle.

The Board of Trustees and Father Nkeze George were on one side and the Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Michael Bibi on the other.

Talking at a ceremony to hand over control of the institution to the Board of Trustees, Father Nkeze said: “i would like to thank members of the Board of Trustees for accepting my request for a special dispensation and waiver to allow me hand-over my duties and role as President of Catholic University Institute of Buea effective 1st of July 2020 and to take up my new sabbatical assignment given to me by Bishop Michael Bibi, The Apostolic Administrator of Buea Diocese and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bamenda.”

The decision to hand over he said, fails to give ample time for guardians, students and other CUIB stakeholders to prepare a proper send off for him. Acknowledging that it is a breach of his obligation to inform them at least six months before departure, Father Nkeze says is is essential that his “name and position is not used by some as a weapon of choice to distract the University from its real mission, vision and values of service-excellence-integrity, responsibility and concern for the common good.”

“In addition, I am bound by my priestly vows to adhere to the decisions made by the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buea to which I am obliged as a priest,” Father Nkeze adds.

Recalling the 12th CUIB Board meeting of 9 June 2020, the clergyman says he presented the state of the University’s affairs for the 2019/2020 academic year, a document that included finances, student enrolment, CUIB workforce, strategic partners and operations master plan. “I assured you that this was 80% already achieved and before the handing over, we will make sure that CUIB does not only have the financial resources to run but is debt free and thus spare the new leadership the task of settling loans of the university. I am taking up my new assignment knowing that you will continue the mission, vision, identity, and flagship traditions of this great University.”

Thanking his collaborators and students at the school for their team spirit, Father Nkeze went on to list what he said are some of the achievements and blessings they got together.

“Finally, the work is not yet over. I would hope the BOT will continue to seek ways to expand fibre optic broadband to the Campus to upgrade current capacity; complete our quest to create a Law School at CUIB. Thank you all once again. It was a great ride together and a wonderful pleasure working and getting to know all of you” he ended the emotional farewell.

Father Nkeze in 2018 signed a 5-year long contract to serve as CUIB president. On May 29, 2020 in the 2020/2021 Pastoral Year Transfers, Diocese of Buea, BD/APA-0-30/2020/7, he was however assigned a new task by Bishop Michael Bibi.

Many hope accepting the task and leaving the university after weeks of disagreement will finally put an end to the raging dispute at the helm of the institution.

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