Osun poly: The sense and nonsense of Governor Adeleke's action, By Ismail Omipidan

 


The saying that one cannot crown a clown and expect the clown to behave like a king appears apt in situating the happenings in Osun in recent times.


In this era of digital and strategic communications, the contents coming from Osun on a daily basis, especially as they relate to the actions and inactions of the current administration do not portray the state in a good light. There is a bit of sense in trying to help your kinsmen with political appointments, but in doing so, put your best foot forward so as not to make nonsense of the intentions. How else can one explain the desire to make a lecturer who has no Ph.D. and who was only promoted to the rank of a Chief Lecturer about one and half years ago a rector of a Polytechnic in flagrant disregard of the extant law of the institution, simply because the beneficiary is your kinsman?


Under the immediate past administration, some state actors and influential persons in the state attempted to blackmail former Governor Adegoboyga Oyetola into appointing not just his kinsman, but also someone more like his brother as the VC of Osun State University when the position became vacant. To drive home their argument, those who wanted the action carried out reminded the former Governor of another ex-Governor from a neighbouring state who appointed his brother as the VC of the state university. Mr. Oyetola who refused to succumb to the wish of the influential persons, he simply asked his brother to go and compete like every other candidate for the vice chancellorship position. 

In the end, a highly cerebral candidate from a local government other than that of the former Governor emerged the vice chancellor. I pray the nonsense called 'edenisation' of Political patronage in Osun is not taken to that citadel of learning.


Back to Iree, according to information in the public domain, Governor Ademola Adeleke has suspended the substantive Rector of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Dr Tajudeen Odetayo, who has barely spent a year out of his four-year tenure, and appointed one Mr. Kehinde Alabi, who is from Ede as the new Rector of the institution. The Governor based Odetayo's suspension on spurious allegations of corruption and abuse of office. 


It will be recalled that upon assumption of office in November last year, Governor Adeleke announced the suspension of the Rector, Dr Odetayo, who was then serving in an acting capacity,  claiming that the Oyetola administration did not follow due process in appointing him. Adeleke set up a Panel to investigate the process of Dr Odetayo's appointment by the immediate past administration. Till date, no one has seen the report of that Panel. 


But five months after his suspension, Dr Odetayo was appointed as substantive Rector in March 2023 by Governor Adeleke who had initially suspended him. He might have been returned to Office when the government realised that the nonsense it set out to do by replacing a man with two doctorate degrees in Education and Management, not honourary but one earned through dint of hard work and scholarship, with one who though spent beyond 24 days to obtain his own first degree and Master's but who has refused to develop himself academically may not sit well with the public.


Once that plot failed, the government allegedly talked the Rector into making their favourite a Deputy Rector. I understand the Rector made an attempt, but truth is, it is not within his purview to make anyone a Deputy Rector since according to extant rule and regulations guiding the appointment of a deputy rector, it has to be by election through the Board of Studies (BOS) of the institution. 


Eventually, the election was held. The governor's favourite candidate, the Ede-born Alabi had 9 votes while the winner polled 51 votes. I understand there are other candidates who even had more votes than the governor's kinsman. The election was held in June and results were announced immediately. But in an apparent move to punish the Rector for refusing to key into the nonsense called 'edenisation' of political patronage, the government announced his suspension over allegation of corruption and abuse of office. 


By extant law guiding the appointment of a Rector, once a Rector is removed, his Deputy takes over in acting capacity. But Senator Adeleke, in line with his determination to 'edenise' the whole political space in Osun, announced his kinsman as the Acting Rector.


This development has led to the closure of the institution as the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has said over their dead body will the least qualified person suprintend over the affairs of the Polytechnic. The students who were writing their exams can no longer continue. 


I listened to the local chapter chairman of ASUP, Dr. Fatai Afolabi,  this morning on Rave FM's Frank Talk. He was very courageous and succinct in his explanation.

He made it clear that they have no quarrels over the decision of the government to want to deal with the Rector over the allegation. Their grouse is that due process was not followed as the Rector was never queried or served with the petition against him. That is one.


Two, ASUP is saying that the minimum requirement to be made a Rector is that the person must have served as a Chief Lecturer for not less than 5 years. The governor's kinsman was only appointed a Chief Lecturer about one and half years ago.


Three, that such a candidate must have graduated students either at ND or HND level. The governor's kinsman has not graduated any because he is from GS (General Studies). 


Four, that in the hierarchy of rating and ranking by exposure, seniority and experience, the governor's kinsman is nowhere from 1 to 40 among potential candidates for the position of Rector. He concluded by saying that the only thing that qualifies Alabi as the Acting Rector, in the face of the Governor, is that he is from Ede. What nonsense!


Well, for me, I appeal to all well-meaning Osun indigenes that we must see Osun State beyond PDP and APC if we want our children to pray for us when we are no more. We must collectively rise against this nonsense by insisting that only sensible action must take precedence over nonsense. We must put an end to this nonsense. The time is now!

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