The Afemai Renaissance, a non-political group, yesterday, called for fairness in the appointment of a substantive Rector for the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi in Edo.
Convener of the group, Mr. Yahaya Momodu, in a statement, appealed to the Federal Government and the institution’s Governing Council, to allow a level playing field for those shortlisted for the position.
He said skewing the process to favour any particular candidate would take the Polytechnic back to the dark era, stressing that the best candidate should be allowed to emerge as the substantive rector for the institution irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political inclination.
Momodu, however, commended the good work of the Acting Rector, Mr. Mustapha Zubair, particularly his focus on the rehabilitation and renovation of facilities that were vandalised during the 2016 riots and other abandon facilities which hitherto had been neglected by successful administrations and urged him to continue until the appointment of a substantive rector.
“Auchi Polytechnic cannot afford going back to the era of high-handedness and unprofessional conduct of any leader for now.
“The pitiable situation the staff and students of the polytechnic find themselves in the recent past is still fresh in our memories. The present peace we are enjoying now should not be truncated by enemy of progress.
“What we need at this time is the continuation of the leadership style of the present administration.
“This is a wake-up call to the Governing Council of Auchi Polytechnic, particularly the Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, a former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, not to succumb to the wishes of the enemy of progress and development.
“The entire Polytechnic Community is not losing hope on you especially going by what you said during the meeting between the Polytechnic Community and the Governing Council Members.
“We are really anticipating when a credible candidate will be appointed”, the statement said.
On his part, the Secretary of the group, Ahmed Muhammed, said before Zubair took over mantle of leadership, Auchi Polytechnic was in a turbulent period.
“The period was painful and shameful indeed and in fact the high-handedness of the immediate past head of the polytechnic was highly lamentable.
“But the Acting Rector remained undaunted and focused in his vision to build the polytechnic to greater heights.
“Without mincing words, the God sent Acting Rector is an agent of progress and father to all irrespective of tribe or religion”, he added.
Some of the projects listed to have been executed by the Acting Rector include renovation of 110 capacity computer centre vandalised during the 2016 riots, renovation of 10 classrooms across the Schools in the Polytechnic, renovation of 69 offices for staff and six throwing wheel machines in the Ceramic Studio.