By Bianca Iboma-Emefu
the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) have appealed to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu to appoint an acting rector for the Federal Polytechnic Bida before February 15, 2021.
ASUP reminded the education minister that the tenure of the incumbent rector of Bida Poly, Dr. Abubakar Dzukogi will end February 15 as contained in a letter of his reappointment signed by the minister.
The union also reminded government that Bida Poly like other Federal Polytechnics nationwide does not have Governing Council, thus the need to appoint an acting rector.
ASUP in a statement made available to newsmen recalled that Dr. Dzukogi had earlier retired from the services of Bida Poly in 2020 in order to serve as a Sole Administrator for two years which is against the Polytechnic Act that was signed into law in 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to ASUP, it is a public knowledge that Bida Poly rector, Dr. Dzukogi will clock 65 years on February 15, 2021 and based on the new Polytechnic Act, he cannot continue in office after clocking the mandatory retirement age.
“We expect the Federal Government through the minister of education to start the process of appointing an acting rector for Bida Poly. It is a common knowledge that Federal Polytechnics don’t have governing council, so the minister must act according to the law and appoint an acting rector on or before February 15.
“ASUP expects a smooth transition without any delay and will not accept the illegal continuation in office of Dr. Dzukogi after February 15. His appointment for third time was an aberration when he has less than two years remaining in service before proceeding on retirement at 65 years.
“The appointment letter conveying Mr. President’s approval emphatically stated that he will serve for two years and leave office on attaining 65 years mandatory retirement age on the February 15, 2021. The minister should put machinery in place to appointing an acting rector before a substantive one. Dzukogi’s plans to stay beyond February 15 will not augur well for Bida Poly and the Nigerian Polytechnic System in general.
“We are aware of Dr. Dzukogi’s plans to remain in office beyond the mandatory retirement age of Feb 15. ASUP therefore, appeals to the government not to listen to those fronting for his continuation in office at 65. The union describes such individuals as the enemies of the polytechnic sector and Nigeria at large, pointing out that “ they are simply aiding and abetting the abuse of the laws for the personal financial benefits they enjoy from the retired rector”. The new Polytechnic Act must be put to test in Bida Poly’s case.Other Federal Polytechnics and establishment are watching with keen interest on what would be the government’s decision on this clear matter.”
The statement further advised government to put machinery in place to start the appointment process for a new rector, adding “we expect government soon to constitute governing councils for all federal polytechnics. In our case, the council will handle the selection exercise for a new rector and address other issues.”
ASUP also disclosed that the retired rector is planning to mobilize thugs for a protest in support of his illegal tenure elongation.
Recalled that, former clerk of the National Assembly, Omolori, left on attaining the mandatory retirement age, the race for new IGP has also heated up as the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu reaches the mandatory limit of 35 years, the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana, though still has 2 more years in service, bowed out of service following the expiration of his tenure on January 17, 2021.
The education sector which is the bedrock of every nation should rather take the lead in strict adherence to the law by ensuring the appointment of acting rector and subsequently the substantive rector for Bida Poly.