The leadership crisis rocking the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State State, assumed a new dimension on Thursday following a 21-day ultimatum issued to the federal government to appoint a substantive rector.
Although the tenure of the Acting Rector, Dr. Olaronge Afolabi, had elapsed, Daily Trust gathered that alleged moves by the council to extend it had met stiff resistance from the unions.
Rising from a Joint Action Committee meeting on the matter on Thursday, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANU) and NASU rejected the move and called for the appointment of a substantive rector.
They gave the Council a 21day ultimatum to ensure the appointment of a substantive rector or face ‘consequential Union actions’.
Signed by its chairman and secretary, Oyinlola Abdulmajeed and Adana Zulukarnaini respectively, the unions referred to sections 16(3) and 9(2) of the Federal Polytechnic Act 2019 as amended to buttress their position.
“Anything contrary to the above is tantamount to favoritism to the detriment of other qualified staff. The Governing Council has tactically extended the tenure of the acting Rector after the expiration of his tenure on 11th of July, 2022.
“The Deputy Rector Academics, who is supposed to have proceeded on pre-retirement leave about 2 months ago, has been directed by the Ag. Rector to chair the meeting of Academic Board where another Chief Lecturer will be elected to replace him.”
Reacting to the issue, the polytechnic spokesperson, Mr Iroye Olayinka, appealed to the unions to understand the position of the Council on the matter.
“We are appealing to them and dialogue is still ongoing to ensure peace.
“There is a council committee already constituted to harmonise all these and persuade the unions. They met them last week and have scheduled to meet them again on Tuesday next week,” he said.