Osun poly lecturers protest rector’s suspension

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

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

The letter suspending Odetayo dated July 11, 2023, a copy of which was obtained in Osogbo on Monday, 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 levelled against you commences soon.”

Appointed the sixth substantive Rector of the polytechnic by the immediate past governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, Odetayo’s appointment was however reversed by Governor Ademola Adeleke shortly after he took over reign alongside others done by his predecessor after the July 16, 2022 governorship election.

But the administration that suspended his appointment, on March 10, 2023, through a letter by the state Head of Service, Leye Aina, reappointed him for a four-year tenure.

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

Displeased by the development, members of ASUP had 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.

Afolabi, during an interview with journalists, further 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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