AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI (GCFR).
RECTORSHIP VACANCY IN AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI, MARRED WITH INJUSTICE, CORRUPTION, AND GODFATHERISM: A CRY FOR JUSTICE
We write to bring to your notice that the position of a Rector for the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi has been vacant since 2016 at the expiration of the tenure of the past substantive Rector.
Since then, the institution has been under the administration of two Acting-Rectors. To put the records straight sir, the Hon. Minister of Education constituted a panel to conduct interviews for Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi; Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure; Federal Polytechnic, Offa and the Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe. After the interview, three of the Polytechnics, except Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi have gotten Substantive Rectors.Only God knows why!!!
The panel that conducted the interview which was constituted by the Hon. Minister of Education consisted of the following highly placed individuals in the education sector. They included: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), The Director of Tertiary Education in the Ministry of Education, two other highly placed resource persons in the Ministry of Education, two officers of the Federal Character Commission and two responsible Chief lecturers from the Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.
The above-stated panel interviewed Twenty-Eight (28) candidates, of which the present acting Rector was among the candidates interviewed, despite the fact that he was earlier disqualified by the screening panel.
It may interest you to know that the results of the aforementioned interview are already in the know of the public domain because it is said that the present acting Rector was rated Fourteenth (14th) position amongst the Twenty-Eight (28) candidates that were interviewed. Shockingly and unfortunately, the present acting Rector was appointed as in acting capacity to take over from an Acting Rector. AN OUTRIGHT COUP D’ÉTAT!
Your Excellency Sir, the entire Nation has confidence in you and your administration especially in your soothing words during your inaugural speech that you “belong to everybody, but belong to nobody”. In this inaugural speech, we stand!
The institution heaved a sigh of relief when the Board of Governing Council was inaugurated in June because we believed that the Council would hasten up the appointment of a Substantive Rector for Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi. To the dismay of staff, students and the host communities, the Board of Governing Council quickly recommended that the present acting Rector is appointed as a Substantive Rector for the institution in sharp contrast to the process leading to the appointment of a Substantive Rector. It is even more worrisome that the Board recommended him at their inaugural meeting, that is, the very first time they were meeting him officially without regards to due process and the Polytechnic Act.
We also want to bring to your notice Sir, that while you were away on medical leave, so many wrong things occurred in the institution. For example, it is unprecedented in the history of any administration that a regulatory body like the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) would appoint an Acting-Rector for any institution, be it State or Federal. Surprisingly, the present acting Rector’s appointment letter was issued to him by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) instead of the Ministry of Education.
Your Excellency Sir, this open letter has become necessary because as at the time of this letter advertorials have been placed on several newspapers declaring a vacancy for the Rectorship position in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, even when the result of an interview conducted and completed since August 2016, is still pending.
Furthermore, Mr. President Sir, is it possible to allow an individual to be a judge over his own case? This will be the case in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, if the Board of Governing Council, the advocate of the present acting Rector be allowed to run a fresh interview even when they had already recommended him without an interview.
Mr. President Sir, we appeal to you to carry out an independent investigation into what led to the cancellation of the already conducted and completed the interview and the subsequent second declaration of vacancy for the position of Rector in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.
This is a litmus test to enable and remind you of the most touchy and highly sensational and remarkable aspect of your acceptance speech that “You belong to everybody, but belong to nobody”. Those of us who attended the interview without God fathers belong to you and therefore we need justice.
In light of the above, we urge the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina to draw the attention of Mr. President to this publication to enable him to act accordingly to his good conscience, justice, and equity for which this administration is known.
All staff, students and people of good conscience strongly believe that the cancellation of the already conducted interview of August 2016 was done to favour a particular ethnic group if not, why was the present acting Rector appointed from amongst the Twenty-Eight (28) candidates that attended the interview in an Acting capacity over two sitting Deputy Rectors against the stipulated Polytechnic’s Extant Laws, even when there was already an acting Rector in place.
If in your investigation Sir, it is discovered that the previous interview was marred with irregularities, why did it not affect all the interviews the panel conducted? This purported cancellation and declaration of vacancy of the Rectorship position of Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi can be likened to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) canceling an already concluded election with a winner and the declaration of another election.
We appeal to Mr. President to prevail on the Honourable Minister of Education to uphold the result of the already concluded interview for the Rectorship position in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo-State, and to make appropriate recommendations to you to enable you to appoint a Substantive Rector for the institution. We honestly do not want Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi to degenerate into a political arena.
The whole world is watching and waiting patiently to see whether this present government will handle sensitive educational issues such as this with levity, political and ethnic bias.
Long Live Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi
Long Live Federal Ministry of Education
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria
On behalf of Concerned Candidates.