IKORODU (LAGOS STATE) – The appointment of a rector for the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) has continued to generate controversy as the three unions at the institution reject the imposition of a rector.
The unions are the institution’s chapters of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tenure of the current provost, Mr Abdulazeez Lawal, will expire on June 1.
NAN had earlier reported that the unions had threatened to resist alleged plans by the Lagos State Government to impose an external administrator as the institution’s rector.
The unions had insisted that such appointment had been the case in the past and was of no benefit to the institution.
It then, urged the state government not to renege on an agreement it entered into with the unions in 2011 with regards to the process of appointing a rector.
NAN reports that interviews for the appointment of a new rector had been conducted and the reports already submitted to the state government.
The latest controversy was from a purported worker of the institution, one Mr Adelaja Aderibigbe, who petitioned the state government on the shortlisting of candidates for the appointment.
Aderibigbe had in his petition, accused the Special Adviser on Education to the State Government, Mr Fatai Olukoga, a member of the interview panel of manipulation.
The petitioner had alleged that Olukoga connived with the rector, Lawal, to fraudulently induce other members of the interview panel to impose a rector on the institution.
He also alleged that the planned imposition was to cover the huge financial mismanagement and recklessness of Olukoga and Lawal.
Denouncing the petition, Lawal told NAN that there was no truth in any of the allegations being bandied in the petition.
“When there is a process involving change in leadership, you must expect this type of petition.
“I am existing in the polytechnic and I don’t want to bother myself with such baseless and false allegations.
“However, I don’t think we have such name in the polytechnic; so, that petition is baseless as it is malicious.
“If the petitioner wants to write a petition, he or she should be courageous enough to put his or her name there,’’ he said.
Also reacting, Olukoga, told NAN that the interview process was credible.
“There are 14 people that applied, and even those who are state indigenes are my board members at the Scholarship Board, yet I did not fight that they employ anybody.
“During the interview, we had three serving Rectors — from Yaba College of Technology, The Polytechnic, Ibadan; and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic — and consultants chosen by the school.
“There was also a former Rector of LASPOTECH, who is also part of our Exco members; I am not the chairman of the committee; I’m only there to ask questions as a member.
“We have the Commissioner for Establishment and Special Adviser, Parastatal Monitoring (PMO) to the governor.
“How can I single-handedly influence anything with all these people there? I don’t care who emerges the Rector as long as you are competent and capable.
“So, how can people say we want to impose a particular candidate as the 10th Rector when they have not seen the report; the report is not out,’’ Olukoga said.
The institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Olarenwaju Kuye, in an e-mail to NAN urged the polytechnic community to exercise patience for the release of the panel’s report on the appointment of the rector. (NAN)
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