A group, United Action for Democracy, has kicked against the appointment of Mr Olumide Metilolu as Acting Rector of the Lagos State Polytechnic.
UAD in a statement by its General Secretary, Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, demanded a reversal of Metilolu’s appointment for peace to reign in the institution.
The statement reads, “Mr Olumide, on record, was a staunch pillar of the inner circle of the corruption-driven, diabolic and incompetent administration that the outgone Rector, Mr Samuel Sogunro, ran for five years. The duo presided over the rot and decay into which LASPOTECH has gradually descended, as there was no crime of harassment, corruption, highhandedness and the employment of the tactics of termination of lives to silence and combat normal industrial disputes visited on members of the school community by Sogunro that did not bear the signature confidence, and support of Metilolu as an accomplice.
“We are saddened at this seeming insensitivity to the plight of the entire school community which has been hoping to breathe a sigh of relief at the expiration of the diabolic and draconian tenure of Sogunro, to be given this sore grape that Metilolu represented as one of Sogunro’s henchmen. We will not accept a rebottling of the same old, sore, stinking wine in the same old, broken bottle.
“UAD recalls a letter to Governor Sanwo-Olu led Lagos State Government by the major worker's unions in LASPOTECH dated May 18, 2020 which was well circulated to the press and the civil society where the unions correctly posited that:
“We are hinging our involvement in the appointment process, not only because we are a stakeholder that is suffering and may continue to suffer from bad governance but also relying on the 15th condition stated in the vacancy advertisement that a prospective rector of the polytechnic must meet.
“This is paraphrased as follows: ‘Candidates must be able to command the respect and loyalty of the majority of members of staff and students of the institution’. We also had to be involved because there is the utmost need to prevent the re-emergence of the prevailing travail in the next dispensation which may be brought about by appointing a wrong and unacceptable person to manage the polytechnic affairs in the next five years. The Unions are passionate about preventing a repeat of the turmoil associated with Sogunro’s style of administration in the polytechnic.”
The group further said Metilolu’s appointment constitutes a ridicule of the high esteem in which institutions like LASPOTECH are held across the world and also an indictment on the credibility of the school before the eyes of academic communities both within and outside the county.
It added, “We can say authoritatively that the integrity and goodwill of the school which have both floundered in the past years under Sogunro are now set for total eclipse with the undemocratic appointment of his co-conspirator of five years, Metilolu: we thereby called for a halt of his continuation in that capacity.
“As a cosmopolitan concern where students from other parts of the world flock to achieve their objective of learning, having as head of LASPOTECH an individual of Metilolu’s psyche with records of poor understanding of independence of academic unions, the vibrancy of student unionism and the liberal orientation of a learning environment portends grave dangers whose grave consequences will be difficult to quantify.
“It is an open truth that Metilolu lacks both the intellectual and administrative tenacities to handle the affairs of an institution like LASPOTECH. Nothing points to this fact than his failure to exert any grain of positive influence on his ally, Sogunro, whilst the imbroglio lasts. Apart from this, we believe that Metilolu will have questions to answer when the findings of the Visitation Panel set up by the governor is made public.
“As a waiting ‘guest’ of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over his roles in the malfeasance that has nearly reduced the worth of LASPOTECH as an institution, we see no reason why a character in the person of Olumide Metilolu should be made to have any role in determining the affairs of the school either now or in the future. Metilolu must therefore be compelled to vacate that position, face his nemesis and answer for his crimes. We do not want to believe or insinuate that Metilolu is being granted the opportunity and the chance to cover his dirty tracks and those of his mentor Sogunro with this appointment. Our demands over this travesty of truth and justice that his appointment represents are follows.
“An immediate withdrawal of his appointment as Acting Rector, which will correct the wrong signal already sent to the whole world that LASPOTECH is bereft of individuals with the required cerebral capacity and administrative acumen to run the institution apart from dimwits and criminals whose only agenda and mission are their pockets and their bellies.
“An immediate constitution of the Governing Council of the school which will objectively assess the aspiring candidates based on merit and recommend qualified candidates for the exalted position within available good heads in the school.”