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By Adekunle Ogbonnaiye, Ado-Ekiti

Staff of the Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti yesterday protested against
the Rector of the institution, Dr. Taiwo Akande, over alleged
fraudulent practices and non-payment of some allowances.

The poly workers who troop to the street over alleged financial
misappropriation leveled against the management, disrupted vehicular
movement along Ado-Ijan road for several hours.

The protesting workers  were led by the Academic Staff Union of
Polytechnics (ASUP),  Mr.  Tunji Owoeye  and  his counterpart in the
Senior Staff Association of  Nigeria Polytechnics(SSANIP), Dr Oluwole
Ayeni.

The workers, who brandished leaves and rained curses on the management
for  threatening to invoke no-work-no-pay rule to coerce them to
resume work,  also disrupted a seminar for  Agric services providers
organized  by amphi-tractor  academy in the institution.

The Rector, who described the allegations against her as frivolous,
said  she has not breached any law to warrant resignation, adding that
she stopped payment of  CONTISS 15 and 50 % cooperative deduction,
because  they have no financial backing  to implement such.

Addressing newsmen   during the protest, the  ASUP and SSANIP
chairmen,   said they have written to President Muhammadu Buhari and
other top government functionaries, as well as the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the fraud allegations
leveled  against Dr. Akande.

“The Rector  and his management team has been employing people on
CONTISS  8 and paying them with  CONTISS 7. Some were also employed as
Principal  Lecturers and  were being paid  as Lecturer 3. The Rector
and her team also padded the 2016 budget and we had provided evidence in this regard. Our N131 million is still trapped in the cooperatives.

“We want the FG to set up investigative panel  on all these
allegations  and when they come, all those concerned must step aside
in the interest of fairness.  Rather than fighting corruption,
corruption is fighting us in this polytechnic.

“This Polytechnic is broke and if a business is liquidated, the CEO
must resign. Our management must be relinquished of their positions.

“We have been on this for long. We have so many demands that are yet
to be met, but the greatest demand we have now is for the FG to sack
the Rector .

“If she is sacked, we are ready to sit down with whoever appointed to
address  all these matters, failure to do this, we will collapse the
entire  system and we will remain like this”, they said.

The Rector said: “They only wanted me out for selfish desires. I
didn’t  employ any member of my family as alleged . I had always
deferred to all the unions in taking critical decisions. In fact, I
regret  starting CONTISS 15 for 14 months here even when government
has not approved money for it.

“I have the highest records of workers’ promotion in history  and I
all the  budgetary provisions to us like the capital, personnel and
overhead costs are fixed and cannot be padded by anybody, so the
allegation of budget padding is ridiculous and sad. No Rector can pad
the budget of any polytechnic.

“Some people are after me and they want me out at all costs. I won’t
resign based on threat from workers. If Mr President said I should
leave today, then I will bow out”, she said.

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