Ado Poly workers take protest against Rector to highway

  • I will apply no-work no-pay rule – Rector

THE lingering crisis at the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, took a new dimension on Tuesday as the striking workers took their protest to the highway, after disrupting activities in the institution.

The workers had gone on strike on October 10, 2016 over alleged mismanagement of funds by the Rector, Dr Theresa Taiwo Akande and as well as her alleged “fraudulent practices and non-payment of some  allowances.”

The workers had left the polytechnic’s gates to also block the Ado – Ijan -Ikare-Akoko road, thereby creating a traffic snarl on the road.

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), led by Mr Tunji Owoeye and the Senior Staff Association Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), led by Dr Oluwole Ayeni, spearheaded the protests, during which they held a prayer session on the major road for hours.

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 agricultural services providers holding on the campus.

The ASUP and SSANIP chairmen said they had written to President Muhammadu Buhari and other top government functionaries, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the fraud allegations levelled against Dr Akande.

They said: “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. This Polytechnic is broke and if a business is liquidated, the CEO must resign. Our management must be relieved of the positions.”

However, Dr Akande, who reacted to the allegations, described them as “frivolous,” and insisted that she had not breached any law to warrant her resignation from office as demanded by the striking workers.

According to her, she stopped payment of  CONTISS 15 and 50 per cent cooperative deduction, the workers had alleged were embezzled, because there was no financial backing to implement such.

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 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.