The host community of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, has demanded a review of the reappointment of the institution’s rector, Prof. Godwin Onu over allegations of misappropriation and embezzlement of funds, hostility to host community and lack of appropriate qualification for appointment as rector of the institution.
A press statement signed by the national president of the Oko Peoples Union as a rejoinder to a story which the community claimed distorted facts on the matter outlined its demand.
The statement which indicted the public relations officer of the school, Mr. Obini Onuchukwu dismissed the story in question as a blatant lie told to discredit Oko indigenes.
It recalled that Sir Jonah Ezeh was invited to the Dr. Alex Ekweme Lecture hosted at the polytechnic. “In the process of his invitation, which was influenced by some Oko indigenes, the gentleman demanded to be guided on an appropriate gift.”
The community advised on the need for the development of the polytechnic staff school which was and remains in a sorry state. He made a donation of N20 million towards the development of the school with a request that the money be used in putting up a structure in the staff school to be named after him.
The statement said “rather than use the fund to develop the school, the rector in continuation of his habitual but inexplicable hostility attempted to relocate the staff school to another location outside Oko, a move which was resisted by the polytechnic staff.”
It said the community was yet to see the judicial use of the N20 million and had gone ahead to ask “in which endowment was this fund kept and in which bank was it fixed? How much interest has it attracted since 2010 till date? What is the matching fund expected from the internally generated revenue, and what time frames have been mapped since 2010 when the money was made available among others?”
In an earlier publication concerning the money, Onuchukwu said “the money was kept in an endowment waiting for internally generated revenue to make it up, and efforts to put it into use was frustrated by Oko indigenes who prevented work from starting at the extension site because they claimed they were not paid compensation”. The Oko community responded to the claim, dismissing it as a blatant lie.
The national president made available a letter written to President Goodluck Jonathan concerning the lawlessness of the rector as a proof of the community’s seriousness in pursuing the matter to its logical conclusion.
While accusing him of masterminding an avoidable mayhem in the community, it said Onu was in constant intimidation of members of the community and had succeeded in arming the youth to forment trouble as well as show disregard for the Igwe of the community.
The statement listed some of the rector’s alleged misdeeds to include polytechnic relocation saga, the 2012 Onu organised rampage, corruption of the youth, impersonation of the community leaders and instigation of crisis within the community’s leadership as well as his non qualification to be rector of a polytechnic.
“His appointment as rector of Federal Polytechnic Oko, ab initio, is in error and is in breach of the extant rules guiding the appointment of heads of educational institutions. He is a professor of political science, which is not part of the curricular of a polytechnic. Political Science is not a course taught in the polytechnic and he has no business presiding as the rector of this institution”, the community added.
It also pleaded with President Jonathan to “caution the inspector general of police and the police hierarchy to avoid taking sides in any crises such as have been contrived in Oko, no matter who is involved, and direct that they focus on their constitutionally assigned responsibility without fear or favour.” (Leadership)
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