Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Concerned Staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State have once again raised the alarm over the purported plan to twist the appointment of a new rector of the institution in favour of a non-qualified candidate.
Already, seven candidates have indicated their intention and had been screened by the Federal Ministry of Education screening team, Abuja for the position, which became vacant since February after the expiration of eight year tenure of Mufutau Olatinwo.
Consequently, Dr. Ayo Olaosebikan was appointed as an acting rector so as not to create any vacuum. Since then, reactions have continued to trail the selection and appointment of the new rector.
THISDAY checks revealed that out of the seven candidates already screened, three have met the criteria stipulated by the ministry in the appointment of vice-chancellors, rectors and provost in the country.
Among the criteria for any candidates vying for the position of rector in any polytechnic or college of technology include age which should not be more than 55 years; date of present rank, which must be a chief lecturer of at least five years’ experience; and qualification, area of discipline must be in any of the programmes run in the polytechnic which awards the diploma.
Sources close to the polytechnic told THISDAY that out of the three candidates said to have met the criteria, only one person will be selected by President Muhammadu Buhari for the rectorship position and criticisms have continued to trail the delay in the announcement of the new rector of the institution.
It was also learnt that some stakeholders in the institution have been suspecting the move to arm-twist the appointment with the alleged intention to impose a non-qualified candidate as the new rector of the institution.
However, one of the stakeholders, the concerned staff of the institution in a statement advised the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu to select the best candidate out of the three candidates that met the criteria for the appointment.
The statement, which was signed by its coordinator, Mr. Tajudeen Ayokunle read in parts: “The Federal Ministry of Education and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) should not make the stakeholders believe that they are conniving to arm-twist the system and supporting imposing illegality not only on the Federal Polytechnic, Offa but the entire system of education in Nigeria. This attitude of theirs will be making a mockery of change initiative of the Buhari administration.
“A lot of game plan seems to be going on now, this is evidenced by desperate and hurriedly organised strategic plan workshop, 8th convocation, 25th founder’s day among others, aimed at convincing the minister of education and the presidency that the acting rector, Dr. Olaosebikan is an acceptable candidate in Offa.
“This is farther from the truth. So we strongly implore the minister of education to save the situation by completing this needless dragged process now.”
The statement added: “This case is simple, the remaining three candidates that sat for the interviews should be considered and the best of them based on the criteria be approved and announced as appointed without further delay.”