By Gabriel Dike
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has kicked against the Federal Government appointment of rectors and other principal officers for the six new Federal Polytechnics.
The union in the interest of peace asked the Federal Government to withdraw the appointments and follow due process to avert the escalation of the ongoing strike by polytechnic lecturers.
ASUP in a statement signed by the National President, Anderson Ezeibe and made available to Daily Sun, said the appointment of rectors for these polytechnics are in violation of provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (amendment) Act, 2019 as five out of the six new rectors are not qualified for the positions having fallen short of the requirements captured in Section 8, 2 (a) i of the Act.
”Our Union’s attention has been drawn to a recent statement from the Federal Ministry of Education announcing the appointment of rectors and other principal officers for the six new Federal Polytechnics situated in Enugu, Oyo, Cross River, Plateau, Borno and Benue states.”
Ezeibe said a rundown of the profiles of the beneficiaries of the latest act of impunity showed that five out of the six persons do not fit into the requirements of the law for appointment of rectors in Federal Polytechnics in the country.
According to him, the five beneficiaries not qualified for the positions include the appointees for Federal Polytechnics Ohodo (Enugu), Ugep (Cross River), Shendam (Plateau), Monguno (Borno), and Wannune (Benue).
The ASUP president noted that the government, through officials of the Federal Ministry of Education has become principal violators of the laws governing the operations of Nigerian Polytechnics.
”This latest assault is despite the contents of a recent ruling of the National Industrial Court in Abuja where the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019 was affirmed by the court and the Federal Ministry of Education and her officials undertaking to observe the provisions in totality,” he explained.
Ezeibe observed despite the contents of the judgment of the court in NICN/ABJ/12/2020 involving ASUP and the Attorney General of the Federation, Minister for Education and five others in a similar issue, the union had drawn the attention of the Federal Ministry of Education on the need to adhere to the provisions of the law in the appointment process more than one month before this recent naked display of impunity.
He said the unfortunate development however underlines the essence of the union’s current engagement with the government ”as we are determined to reverse this ugly trend of administering Nigerian Polytechnics outside extant laws and regulations.”
The union leader stressed that with the latest development, the Nigerians should hold the government responsible for any escalation of ASUP’s current industrial action towards a protracted crisis.
The therefore demanded for the withdrawal of the appointments so as to usher in a process of appointment in alignment with the provisions of the law, noting ”this shall also serve as a confidence boosting measure in resolving the union’s current dispute with the government.”