The Osun State Government has said that it suspended the rector of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo, due to a petition written against him and to allow an investigation into the allegations.
Speaking with journalists in Osogbo on Tuesday, the state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Dipo Eluwole, also absolved the government of favouritism in the appointment of the acting rector, saying Mr. Kehinde Alabi, appointed for the post in an acting capacity, was qualified.
Members of the Academic Union at the institution had staged a protest at the entrance to the polytechnic, demanding the reversal of Odetayo’s suspension.
The protesters, led by Ospoly ASUP chairman, Mr. Fatai Afolabi, said Odetayo was not given a query before his suspension, insisting that the acting rector appointed to replace him was unqualified for the post.
Afolabi, during an interview with journalists, said, “The governor appointed someone who is not qualified as the acting rector of the institution. The person that the governor appointed contested for the post of deputy rector and he lost out.
“The only thing that qualifies him is that he is from Ede. The governor is nepotistic with appointments and dealings in Iree Poly. The governor wants to put Ede indigenes everywhere in the school, which is not possible. Is it only Ede that voted for him? Everybody voted for him.
“Dr. Odetayo, who was removed, was accused of corruption, among others. He was never made to face any panel or inquiry. He was never issued a query. The main reason for his removal was that he was invited by the Chief of Staff to the governor, who instructed him to make the person they appointed as Acting Rector now, the deputy rector.”
“The order given to the rector goes beyond his capacity because it is by election. When they voted, the anointed candidate of the Chief of Staff got 19 votes, while the winner got 51 votes, who is the most senior chief lecturer on campus.”
Responding further to the allegations by ASUP, Eluwole, who said the government had not interfered in the affairs of the polytechnic, added that a panel that will probe the suspended rector will soon commence work.
Eluwole said, “We are working on the panel that will investigate the suspended Rector. Before 72 hours, the panel will commence investigation. The issue is not connected to any bidding of the government. Government has no hand in the administration of the institution.
“This government is acting because of a petition that was received. We have to look at it and investigate the allegations to forestall the crisis in the school. There must be quick action. For every issue there are two sides, some people may support the removal while some may oppose it.”