Written by Godfrey AKON

Poly unions endorse Bida Rector for second tenure

Trade unions at the Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State, have endorsed the incumbent Rector, Dr. Abubkar Dzukogi, for a second term in office, following the imminent expiration of his tenure in May.

The unions comprising the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Non Academic Staff Union, NASU, and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, SSANIP, made the endorsement in a joint open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari presented at a briefing in Abuja.

Speaking at the briefing which was attended by representatives of the Emirate Council and a coalition of Bida youths, the leader of the group, Comrade Femi Fashaaba, said since the incumbent rector assumed office in 2014, the entire polytechnic has been transformed.

According to him, the polytechnic which is running about 40 accredited courses has not lost a single accreditation in his four years as rector, stressing that nothing by law stops him from being reappointed.

He argued that by the provision of the Polytechnics Act and an instant circular issued from the Head of Service, Dzukogi was qualified to have a second term as the circular clarified that tenured appointments were not subject to Civil Service retirement age.

The endorsement follows a campaign by a faction of the Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Non Academic Staff Union, NASU, and Senior Staff Association, of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, to stop the rector’s reappointment.

Dzukogi, whose tenure is due to elapse on May 22nd 2019 is alleged by the faction as plotting to stage his return for a second stint despite approaching the compulsory retirement age from public service.

Chairman of the JAC, Comrade Umar Saganuwan, said Dzukogi was due to retire from public service in two years, arguing that reappointing him would breach the guideline for appointing vice chancellors, rectors and provosts which stipulates that the rector must not be more than 55 years.

Saganuwan noted that the criteria used to advertise for the office four years ago, which pegged the age limit at 60 contravened the guidelines for such appointment, alleging that it was manipulated to favour the rector who was 59 years old.

The union leader, who expressed dismay over the failure of the governing council of the institution to advertise for the position of rector as Dzukogi’s tenure ends in May, said due to the rector’s retirement age, he was statutorily not qualified for reappointment for a second tenure.

“By convention and in compliance with government regulations dealing with the appointment of chief executives of public tertiary institutions in this country, the council ought to have placed an advert for the vacancy of such position at least six months before the end of the tenure of the incumbent occupier so as to allow for smooth transition,” he said.

The unions alleged that the Ministry of Education and the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, were complicit to the irregularity as  the council had forwarded Dzukogi’s name to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, for reappointment and the minister is believed to have forwarded the name to President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

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