Crisis over Appointment of New Offa Poly Rector Deepens

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

Strong indication has emerged how crisis has continued to trail the selection and appointment of the new rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, KwaraState.
The position became vacant in February after the former Rector,MufutauOlatinwocompleted his eight-year tenure in office.

Already, a group, Concerned Staff of Federal Polytechnic, Offa has faulted the procedures that led to the shortlisting of three candidates upon which president Muhammadu Buhari would finally pick one person as the rector.

THISDAY checks revealed that the screening committee set up by the Federal Ministry of Education to screen all the aspirants had come and gone and was said to have submitted three candidates for consideration.

Sources close to the ministry told THISDAY that the acting Rector, Mrs. Ayo Olaosebikan of English Department, Mr. Olatunji L.A of Economics Department and Mr. Igbinehi E.M of Mathematics Department were shortlisted.
However, the concerned staff in a statement described the exercise that produced the three candidates as faulty and uncalled for‎.

The statement signed by the Coordinator, Mr. AyokunleTajudeen,‎ read:”The criteria used by the screening committee of the Federal Ministry of Education was against the laid down rules that had been used for the appointment of vice-chancellors of universities, rectors of polytechnics and colleges of technology and provosts ofstates and federal colleges of education in the country.”
The group said,”the template used by the screening committee was‎ contravened a circular letter addressed to the chairmen of governing councils of federal polytechnics by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) dated January 9, 2007 signed by the NBTE Executive Secretary, Dr. NuruYakubu.

The letter with reference number C/TEB 13x/ Vol- 1/190, titled ‘Selection of Rectors – Clarification and Additional Requirement’, which read in parts: “Governing council are requested to note that the maximum age at the time of resumption of duty is 55 years. Councils are also expected to submit security report from the state security service on each if the three candidates recommended for the president’s consideration and approval.‎”
The concerned staff added that, ‎”based on the criteria listed by the NBTE for the appointment of rector, the three candidates penciled down for the position of rector are not qualified because their area of discipline are not in any of the programmes run in the polytechnic which award diploma.

“The polytechnic does not award diploma in Mathematics or in English or Communication Arts or diploma in Economics while their age barrier also disqualifies them from seeking the position.”
The statement advised the Minister of Education, MallamAdamuAdamu to remove the three candidates and all other candidates not qualified on the requirements for the appointment of rector as advertised by the registrar of the polytechnic. It also called on the minister to select officers of unquestionable character and of high integrity to conduct another interview.

The staff said officers to be chosen should not be religious fanatics, adding that “the idea of picking anybody to become rector either from the university or polytechnic will not help but compound various challenges facing polytechnic education in the country.”