From Tope Musowo, Ado-Ekiti
The Academic and non-academic staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti (Ado Poly), Ekiti state, on Monday took to the streets, calling for the immediate removal of the Rector, Dr Theresa Taiwo Akande, over alleged incompetence, insensitivity and corrupt practices.
The workers were drawn from the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP).
The protesters blocked the main entrance of the institution and prevented staff and students from going in and out.
The placard-carrying workers accused the rector of allegedly embezzling N350 million unremitted cooperative funds and perpetrating illegal pension deductions from contract staff benefits in a brazen disregard to the financial regulations governing the institution.
The union leaders – Tunji Owoye (ASUP), Dr Oluwole Ayeni (SSANIP) and Prince Adekunle Adeniyi (NASU) – lambasted the rector for promoting despotism, favouritism and nepotism in staff promotion.
They said the institution would remain closed pending when the allegations levelled against Akande were cleared by the Federal Government.
However, the rector, who dismissed the allegations through the institution’s Deputy Registrar, Information and Protocol, Mr Adeyemi Adejolu, accused the workers of impatience, saying she expected them to await the outcome of the probe they jointly called for before resorting to protest.
“Why can’t they wait for the outcome of Federal Government’s intervention in this matter? They had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the anti-graft bodies are intervening.
“I expect that they await the outcome if they are not pursuing selfish agenda,” Akande said.
But in his speech, the ASUP chairman called on the Minister of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, to direct Akande to step aside pending the outcome of investigations by the anti-graft agencies.
Owoye listed seven offences against the rector, which are “the non-implementation of CONTISS 15 as directed by the Federal Government, non-remittance of staff contributions to cooperative societies, deduction of pension from contract and casual workers, non-refund of pension deduction, highhandedness in policy implementation, award of contracts without following due process and over-employment.”