Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin

Staff and students of Kwara Polytechnic have threatened to stage a peaceful protest over the appointment of a new rector by the outgoing administration in the state.

Kayode Rafiu, the leader of the students, said this in a statement issued in Illorin on Sunday.

Rafiu said the protest would commence on Tuesday May 21.

He said the protest became necessary due to the alleged “shabby process in the appointment of a new rector for the institution by the outgoing administration.’’

Recall that the school had on March 25, released an advert for the position of Rector, which was perceived in some quarters as fraudulent.

Rafiu alleged that Gov. AbdulFatai Ahmed, had perfected plans to bring an outsider as the Head of the Polytechnic, adding that there were many competent lecturers who were next in line to the outgoing rector.

According to him, the staff and students are mobilising to converge at Ilorin General Post Office on May 21, for a mega protest against the injustice.

He faulted Ahmed’s failure to identify any insider that had risen through the ranks to be shortlisted for the position of rector.

Rafiu also described the recent introduction of some additional criteria such as attaining 59 years of age, five years experience as a science-based Chief Lecturer, as a ploy to discredit some potential lecturers.

He said the move was targeted at short changing some respected lecturers who were competent and qualified to head the Institution.

The students’ leader said the protest would be led by some members of staff of the Institution and Alumni, who believed that the standards and tradition of the Polytechnic in choosing a new rector were not duly followed.

He said it was illegal for the outgoing rector to chair the screening and short listing committee in a polytechnic that had more than 35 Chief Lecturers that were also equal to the task.

The student leader alleged that this acts could translate to injustice, perceived interest and lack of level playing ground for all applicants.

Efforts by newsmen to reach the State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mr Abdullahi Alikinla, to comment on the development proved abortive as he did not respond to calls or messages put across to him.

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