Students and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Federal Polytechnic, Offa, in Kwara State, on Thursday, gave the Federal Government seven days ultimatum to announce the institution’s next rector.
The polytechnic, has in the last three months, been operating without a substantive rector. The tenure of the former rector, Dr. Mufutau Olatinwo expired in February this year.
Addressing reporters at Offa, in Offa Local Government Area, the Chairman of ASUP, Offa Poly, Dr. Sola Ojeniyi, said that the delay in the appointment of the rector was creating unnecessary tension in the school.
He added that the process of appointment the rector started in December last year “via the placement of advertisement in Nigerian dailies.”
He said that “the process of the appointment of a new rector for the polytechnic has been lingering for the past six months. ASUP, both at the national level and the school’s chapter, has been worried over the unnecessary procrastination on the part of all the agencies involved in the announcement of the appointment.
“Prior to the placement of the advertisement, the congress of ASUO at the polytechnic had met and observed that the polytechnic system has produced a good number of qualified members, who have, over the years attained a very high level of academic standard in various fields.
“Based on these facts, the congress in line with the position and support of the national body of ASUP resolved that the union will not welcome anybody from outside the polytechnic system as the rector. By the time the advertisement was published, the congress in the chapter perused the contents and found the advertisement satisfying the resolution of the union.”
Said he: “The union has monitored the relationship among the three applicants who happened to be our members; they have been working harmoniously and none of them has spoken against the exercise.
“It must be stressed here that the union and the entire polytechnic community is taken aback with the unfathomable foot-dragging on the announcement. The union believes that the situation in the polytechnic is now different from what we had in 2007, when the polytechnic was enmeshed in a serious crisis that precipitated the elongation of the tenure of the then action rector for several months.”
Ojeniyi said that ASUP congress is stating unequivocally that: “ASUP and overwhelming majority members of the polytechnic give credence the process of the appointment of a new rector; all the three members recommended as a result of the interview conducted on the 21st of March this year are our members; the union believes that the noise of war, crisis and controversies on the pages of newspapers were sponsored by external factors to cause confusion and mislead the federal government and people of Nigeria. The only condition that can bring crisis is when all our members who have been properly and thoroughly screened, interviewed and recommended are all robbed of the opportunity of serving the institution.”
On his part, Student Union President of the institution Yusuf Olalekan, said that “the delay in the appointment of the rector of the institution has been causing a lot of anxiety on campus. I want to debunk the rumour that the polytechnic is in crisis. As far as the student is concerned, there is no crisis concerning the appointment of substantive rector for the school.
“We are giving the federal government some time to announce without delay the rector of the polytechnic amongst the three recommended candidate for appointment. As far as we are concerned as students we will support any of the shortlisted candidates for the job. We are ready to work harmoniously with such a person to take our institution to higher heights.
“We are aligning totally with the stance of the ASUP in giving a-seven day ultimatum to announce the name of our rector.”