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Osun Polytechnic lecturers protest suspension of rector



Osun Polytechnic lecturers protest suspension of rector

Members of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree chapter of the Academic Union of Polytechnic {ASUP}, on Tuesday, staged a protest at the entrance to the institution, demanding the reversal of the suspension of the Rector, Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo.

The Osun State government, had in a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr A Jimoh, conveyed the suspension of Odetayo, who was appointed Rector in March this year.

The letter, dated July 11, 2023, partly read: “You are hereby suspended as the Rector of Osun State Polytechnic, sequel to the strong allegations of financial recklessness, corruption, misappropriation of funds, abuse of office among others.

“You are to proceed on suspension immediately, while investigation into the allegations leveled against you commences soon.”

Odetayo was appointed the sixth substantive Rector of the polytechnic by the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola,. This was however reversed by Governor Adeleke shortly after he took over as governor of the state.

The Adeleke administration however reversed itself on March 10, 2023 through a letter by the state Head of Service, Leye Aina, when it reappointed him for a four-year tenure before the latest development.

The government has immediately announced the appointment of Mr. Kehinde Alabi, as acting Rector of the institution.

Read also: Osun govt suspends Iree Polytechnic’s rector four months after appointment

Peeved by the suspension, members of ASUP stormed the entrance to the institution on Tuesday, demanding reversal of the suspension.

The protesters led by Ospoly ASUP chairman, Mr Fatai Afolabi, insisted that the acting Rector appointed to replace Odetayo was unqualified for the post.

While speaking with journalists, Afolabi said: “The governor appointed someone who is not qualified as the acting Rector of the institution. The person that the governor appointed contested the post of deputy rector and lost out.

“We have a deputy rector on the ground who should replace him if the rector is removed. That is what the guidelines say, and in the absence of the deputy rector, the most senior chief lecturer will be appointed as acting Rector.

“The person that was appointed in ranking among the chief lecturers, he is not ranked from one to 50. The only thing that qualifies him is that he is from Ede. The governor is nepotistic with the appointment and dealings in Iree poly. The governor wants to put Ede indigenes everywhere in the school which is not possible. Is it only Ede that voted for him? Everybody voted for him.

“The person that was appointed as acting Rector now contested the post of Deputy Rector and he lost. Dr Odetayo who was removed was accused of corruption among others. He was never made to face any panel or enquiry, he was never issued a query. The main reason for his removal was that he was invited and instructed to make the person they appointed as acting Rector now, the deputy rector.

“The order given to the Rector goes beyond the capacity of the Rector because it is by election. When they voted, the government anointed candidate got 19 votes, while the winner, who is the most senior chief lecturer on campus got 51 votes. The state of things in Iree now is that all academic activities including the ongoing exam stand suspended.”

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