KadPoly: Open letter to minister of education | Dailytrust

KadPoly: Open letter to minister of education

Hon. minister, I wrote you the first letter on February 28, 2022, after efforts were deployed by the Kaduna Polytechnic Governing Council to justify the exclusion of Professor Muhammad Sani Yahaya from the recruitment exercise by recommending the appointment of the acting Rector, Dr. Suleiman Umar, as the substantive Rector for the institution.

The exclusion of Prof. Yahaya, a teacher with the Kaduna State University, from the recruitment exercise had sparked outrage among members of the polytechnic community. Despite protests and a press conference called by the don, the governing council still went ahead to recommend Umar for appointment as substantive Rector.

Aware that the governing council was not willing to revisit his exclusion from the interview, Prof Yahaya approached the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) for adjudication over the matter, which stopped any planned appointment of a new  rector until the determination of the case.

With the tenure of Dr. Umar ending next week, May 18, 2022, plans are already afoot to procure yet another tenure extension for Dr. Umar who has so far spent over a year in acting capacity. This is  not only illegal in civil service rules but also prohibited by the Polytechnic (Amendment) Act 2019.  

In a move that is causing outrage and tension amongst members of the polytechnic, the Registrar, Dr Muhammad Sani Musa, on May 09, 2022, wrote to both the chairman and members of the governing council to approve yet another renewal of six-month tenure for Dr. Umar to continue in office as the acting rector. If the council approves the recommendation, it will not only be a subversion of the Polytechnic (Amendment) Act 2019, but also a clear case of the enthronement of embarrassing impunity.

Anyone conversant with your antecedents must be at a loss on why you have not beamed your searchlight on Kaduna Polytechnic and the many infractions that have gone uninvestigated. It is clear that allowing Dr. Umar to continue serving as acting rector is a violation of the Polytechnic (Amendment) Act 2019 which states: “In the case of vacancy in the office of the rector, the council shall appoint an acting rector who should not be in office for more than six months”.

It is only in Kaduna Polytechnic that the tenure of an ag. rector was renewed beyond the approved six-month as enshrined in the Polytechnic Act. There are scenarios in Mubi and Auchi polytechnics where acting rectors never had their tenures renewed after the expiration of the six-month period as enshrined in the law. The question on many lips is: Why is Dr Umar’s case different?

For this crisis rocking the polytechnic to be resolved, the illegal extension of another tenure being sought for Dr. Umar should be denied. A new panel for the recruitment of a new rector should be set up under the watch of the ministry, NBTE and incorruptible technocrats in order to conduct an interview for a new rector. A new acting rector should be appointed for a period of six months in order to take over the affairs of the polytechnic. The governing council should not be exclusively allowed to conduct the recruitment interview for a new rector as the council has not demonstrated the type of impartiality expected of it.

Those who love opulence more than academics should not be allowed to diminish the excellence of this premier polytechnic.

Abdullahi sent this from Minna and can be reached via mohdabdullahi267@gmail.com

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