- The crisis in the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) has not abated
- Fingers are now pointing in the direction of the school's governing council
- The selection process of the school's rector has sparked serious controversies within the polytechnic
The crisis rocking the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) took a new turn recently as fingers are now pointing in the direction of the school's governing council for allegedly creating chaos in the polytechnic.
Sources in the know say the governing council abandoned the selection of the a registrar midway into its recruitment process to hurriedly conclude the process of appointing a new rector for the institution.
Rather than appointing a substantive registrar, the council was said to have abandoned the process and appointed one Olumuyiwa Doherty as the acting registrar, after the tenure of the former registrar, Ms. Biekoroma Charity Amapakabo expired.
NAIJ.com gathered that the outgoing rector, Dr. Margaret Ladipo, the former registrar, Amapakabo, and the selection team were said to be part of the scheme to disqualify several applicants and impose an unpopular candidate as the rector of the polytechnic.
The selection process sparked controversy within the polytechnic. The national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) also added its voice to the campaign by protesting the addition of three professors among the 22 applicants for the selection process.
According to ASUP, their inclusion violated the Polytechnics Act.
In a petition signed by ASUP national president, Umaru Dutse and its southwest zonal coordinator, Adetunji Orun, which was addressed to the YABATECH council chairman, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the union said only chief lecturers from the polytechnic sector were qualified to occupy the office of the rector in any of the nation’s polytechnics.
The petition read in part: “For the avoidance of doubt, the advertisement clearly stated that only chief lecturers of five years’ experience are qualified to apply. It is worth stating that there is no equivalent to chief lecturers outside the polytechnic sector.”
The national body of ASUP directed that its YABATECH branch should resist any attempt to violate the stipulations of the advertorial and the enabling law with respect to the vacant position of the rector.
Following the pressure, the three professors were dropped when the governing council released the names of the three shortlisted candidates.
The shortlisted candidates are Mr Obafemi Owoseni Omokungbe, Mr Aladare Kayode and Mr Omobayo Raheem, who were said to have scored 89.7, 76.5, and 60 percent respectively to come tops.
Meanwhile, an aggrieved group, Parley Against Injustice and Corruption (PAIC), has faulted the final shortlist, calling on the presidency to investigate the roles played by the selection teams, the governing council and other accused persons.
In a petition signed by the group's head, Chief Wakeel Olale Liadi, the group claimed that Mr Obafemi, who was said to have scored the highest number of points, was and still is a member of the governing council, through his position as the representative of ASUP in the governing council.
According to him, “Mr Obafemi neither renounced nor resigned his membership of the Governing Council as at the time of the screening exercise. As such, the circumstance of Mr Obafemi gave him undue advantage and influence over every other applicant, making him a judge in his own case.”
In addition, Chief Liadi said Mr Aladare Kayode was questionably adjudged the second best candidate, stating that, “his selection is contrary to the well-established rule that rector of the institution must be a professional in any of the courses offered by the institution.”
As for the third finalist, the group alleged that Mr Omobayo cannot be considered a core professional who is qualified to man an institution which focuses majorly on technology and technical development.
He has a Master’s Degree, with a First Degree in English Language. He was deployed to the mass communication department and is currently a deputy rector.
One of the applicants, Dr Akanni Adebakin, in a protest letter addressed to the chairman, governing council, sought for clarification as to why he wasn't shortlisted despite meeting the requirements.
The two-term deputy rector said he was disqualified because he had his First Degree in Psychology.
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Dr Adebakin, who has spent 24 years lecturing at the department of business administration, added that: “I also heard that I wasn't shortlisted because I have M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Organisational Behaviour, which is not a Polytechnic course.
“My Masters and Doctorate Degrees are in business administration with specialization in organisational behaviour. The council can make clarifications on this from the University of Lagos where the degrees were awarded.”
Adebakin called on the chairman to use his office to reverse what he termed "injustice”, and direct that he (Adebakin) should be shortlisted for the position.
Another candidate who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “excuses adduced for picking and dropping candidates were lopsided. Some candidates were not shortlisted because their first degrees (or second degrees) are not courses offered in the college, whereas their colleagues with similar degrees were shortlisted.
“While some who met all the advertised requirements were not shortlisted, some shortlisted candidates did not meet the advertised criteria. This is why the academic staff union cried foul in the face of obvious flaws.
“The interview was far from being thorough and balanced. Some candidates were rushed through while some were given ample time to make presentations. Different candidates have different tales to tell.”
Meanwhile, 30 applicants who tried to join the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Kano as staff have been dropped for failing a mandatory drug test which is a requirement for incoming staff of the hospital.
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