Lecturers boycott exams over unpaid allowance

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Lecturers at Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti have boycotted the ongoing exams at the institution over unpaid allowances.

Following the boycott, the management drafted the non-academics to assist in the conduct of the second semester exams.

Since Tuesday when the boycott started, students of the institution have continued to write the exams under the direct supervision of the Rector, Dr Hephzibah Oladebeye, senior management staff and non-academic staff.

The lecturers had on Tuesday protested the non payment of their part-time claims and have since refused to participate in the ongoing second semester examinations.

Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti branch, Dr Olabisi Olasehinde, confirmed the conduct of exams by non-academic staff under the supervision of the rector.

Olasehinde said the students continued with their exams on Thursday, adding “unfortunately, the Rector, Dr. Oladebeye in his wisdom decided to go ahead with the exams. He forced the HODs to release questions, went to the classes and distributed the scripts, supervised the exams and brought in non academic staff such as clerks, lab attendants, messengers to conduct that exam and on the basis, ASUP is saying that such an exam cannot be said to be credible.”

Reacting to allegation that the rector, Dr Oladebeye invested money meant to offset the part-time claims in Bitcoin, Olasehinde said ” We don’t have any information as regards that and the claim is an irresponsible allegation.

“A sane mind will not come up to allege a learned scholars with that type of allegation. Salaries of staff are being paid through IPPIS since February 2020, therefore, there is no way a rector will have access to salaries for such investment. Accusing ASUP or myself as the source of that allegation, I think is irresponsible.

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“We don’t know anything about it, we don’t have any information about it. Our demands are payment of CEC claim, payment of demigration arrears, payment of cooperative deductions and withdrawal of the query he issued because this are demands that are just, that are right and legal. Therefore, if he wants to blackmail us going through that type of allegation I think it’s quite unfortunate.”

Reacting to payment of the part time claims made two days before the protest, the ASUP chairman said :” That is what we called deception on the part of the management.

“The bursar told me there was no fund on Thursday. I called an emergency congress on Friday to demand the payment of CEC claim and between Friday and Monday, especially on Sunday, some people started receiving alerts and we thought the problem was solved.

“After some minutes, members started calling that they haven’t received alert. I told them I had received mine, that they should exercise patience, it may be due to network problem and that was the discussion we had on Sunday. But calls kept coming in even throughout the night that they have not received alert and I directed my treasurer and we started compiling the names.

“Between 8.00 am and 9.00 am on Monday, we had collated more than over150 names that had not received alerts. Before Tuesday, we had recorded over 248 names that had not been paid.

“We found out that management did selective payments, they did the selective payments because they know they don’t have enough fund. They paid the HODs, the exam officers, coordinators and the executives of ASUP (those who participated in the program).

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“That was why we called another emergency congress for Tuesday, since they failed to invite us for discussion, we felt they decided to undermine our strength. Therefore, the option we had so as not to create problem for the students was to protest and we moved our protest to the gate. They deceived us to write exams on Monday and we said we could no longer continue with that type of deceit from the management, that was how we put a stop to that exam on Tuesday.

“The selective payments had started from Saturday, selective few got their alerts on Sunday, nobody got alert on Monday, selective few got alert on Tuesday, nobody got alert on Wednesday, on Thursday too, nobody got alert. We learnt on Friday that those with First Bank accounts have started receiving alerts, though, not all of them have received. They kept claiming that they had paid everybody. How come some people are still receiving alerts if they truly paid everybody?”

Olasehinde, debunked the allegation that he tried to dent the image of the rector because he lost out on the rectorship contest with him

“The allegation is irresponsible. In the first instance, I am qualified to contest for the position of rector and that was why I contested. I was shortlisted and interviewed not even in our institution alone. I applied for the position again at The Federal Polytechnics, Ede, I was invited and interviewed. I also applied at YABATECH and was invited. Saying that I contested with him that is why I am trying to pull him down, I think that allegation is a cheap blackmail.

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“Nine of us contested in that institution with him and as I am speaking he has no good relationship with the remaining eight of us and I am the last man standing, this is because I am the ASUP chairman. Me asking for the right of our members is a constitutional responsibility that a chairman is ASUP must ensure he delivers, the mindset that I contested with him is not what a good leader should have.

“I have been the chairman of ASUP before he became the rector and for the past three years there was no single protest, no single strike, we have put in understanding to get our demands from him, if he is now alleging that I am trying to pull him down and he cannot come up with a particular issue or protest or strike we had during those three years, then he is not living a righteous life.”

Olasehinde debunked the claims that the national body was not aware of the ongoing crisis, stating ” there is nothing we do that we don’t carry our zonal and national body along. The union has its organs and the branch has always carried along the zonal and national body in all we do. We have communicated this to the zonal and national body.”

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