By Gabriel Dike, Lagos
A crisis of confidence is currently rocking the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu over the decision of the institution’s governing council to cancel the result of an interview conducted for the position of Polytechnic Librarian.
The decision of Prof Rasheed Ojikutu-led governing council to cancel and conduct fresh screening has not gone down well with the staff of the 44-year-old institution. The workers insist the result of the first interview should be used to appoint a new Polytechnic Librarian based on merit.
Daily Sun learnt that in June, an advert was placed for the appointment of Librarian and no applicant applied because the criteria which state the person must be a chief librarian could not be met.
A senior staff told our correspondent that the council dropped the traditional demand for applicants to come from Lagos, threw the race opened and brought down the criteria to principal librarian with 10 years experience to allow for more applications.
‘So, in the new advert, they received seven applications and four persons were shortlisted, Mrs Kuburat Yusuf, Mr Tajudeen Okusaga, Dr Olusegun Adesanya and Mr Wakilu Ogungbo.
‘The interview was conducted on July 7th, with the following results: Mrs Kuburat Yusuf scored 84%, Mr Tajudeen Okusaga got 62%, Dr Olusegun Adesanya made 76% and Mr Wakilu Ogungbo recorded 67%,’ the senior staff revealed.
The Appointment and Promotion Committee (A&PC) met on August 11 to approve the result of the interview. He said it was at this stage the plan to manipulate the interview result came in.
According to him, the council chairman told A&PC members that the woman who came top in the interview does not possess a PhD.
Another excuse to jettison the interview result was that petitions were received against the exercise. The council chairman offered three options to be considered by A&PC, the result of the interview be upheld as it was, the two candidates that came first and second to face fresh interview and thirdly, the entire interview report be jettisoned.
This proposal by the council chairman divided the A&PC members thus a vote was conducted and after the vote, eight voted for upholding of the interview results, while 5 voted for the first and second to be conducted for another interview.
‘It wasn’t a surprise when on August 25th, at the council meeting, the A&PC position to uphold the interview result was thrown out and the proposal to conduct another interview for the first and second candidate was adopted.’
Reacting to the agitation against the interview, Prof Ojikutu told Daily Sun that there was no second interview. ‘Initially, we wanted to subject the two candidates to further screening but council threw it open to five applicants.,’ he said.
Ojikutu denied the allegation that he was rooting for a candidate, adding: ‘We have told the workers and students that transparency is the council’s watchword.’
He said the council has decided to re-screen five candidates but insisted it was not a second interview and revealed that the initial position of A&PC was to subject the first two candidates to an interview but the council decided to extend it to five applicants.