Lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) in Osun State Polytechnic (OSPOLY), Iree, have joined a protest by students of the institution against the suspension of the rector.
Tajudeen Adetayo was appointed by the administration of former Governor Gboyega Oyetade on 21 June 2022 but was suspended by Governor Ademola Adeleke for alleged corruption and financial recklessness.
The suspension of the rector was received with anger by the students who reacted with demonstrations that have disrupted academic activities, including ongoing semester examinations.
The students alleged that the suspension was politically motivated.
Addressing the protesting students on Tuesday at the school campus, the chairman of ASUP in the polytechnic, Fatai Afolabi, expressed the dissatisfaction of the lecturers with the treatment of Mr Afolabi by the state government.
He described the rector’s suspension as an “aberration” that violates the constitution of the institution.
In a memo dated 11 July and signed by the permanent secretary of the state Ministry of Education, M. A.K. Jimoh, the state government ordered Mr Adetayo to go on an indefinite suspension.
“You are hereby suspended as the Rector of the institute 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 an investigation into the allegations leveled against you commences soon.”
In another memo of the same date also signed by the permanent secretary, the government appointed Alabi Adeyemi as the acting rector of the polytechnic.
“The erstwhile Rector should step aside pending the time the allegations against him are properly investigated by relevant bodies. The appointment of the Acting Rector takes immediate effect.” the statement said.
Following the statements, students and members of the academic staff of the school took to the streets after shutting the school gate.
On Tuesday, by the commissioner for information and public enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, appealed to the students and their lecturers to stop their protest and resume academic activities.
Mr Alimi reiterated that investigation would be conducted into the allegations against Mr Adetayo, followed by appropriate actions.
“I understand the reason for the protest over the suspension of the Rector, Dr Tajudeen Adewale Adetayo. The step taken by the administration is necessary, but I assure you that full investigation will commence and every misunderstanding will be cleared.
“I recognise the ASUP and I urge them to stop the protest, and allow investigation to hold for the matter to be sorted. Please do not allow yourself to be used by the opposition. You are important to the Government and the public. Please stop the protest and allow peace to be restored to the school community,” Mr Alimi said in a statement.
The commissioner said Governor Adeleke would soon appoint a governing board for the polytechnic, and it would look into the allegations behind the suspension of the rector.
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