*Re: *Kwara North Group Slams Kwara Polytechnic’s Rector over Alleged Corruption*
•KNYF SHOULD NOT THROW KWARA INTO ANARCHY
The Patriotic Kwarans’ Youth Movement has taken time to dissect a piece signed by one Ambassador Haroun Bako and Hajiya Fatimah Gobiyeruma under the aegis of Kwara North Youths Frontiers on the stewardship of the Rector, Kwara State Polytechnic, Dr Abdul Jimoh, and are sincerely convinced of the need to weigh in on the discourse before it snowballed into an ethnic issue we fear it could become in the interest of peace and development of the state.
•We were initially worried upon reading the statement by the above body about the alleged level of corruption going on in the citadel of learning. The unwavering passion for the state, which is the hallmark of our group, made us launch an investigation into the points raised. We are however bothered and disappointed that a group with a claim to the defence of justice and equity, as findings eventually revealed, wove such a coterie of malicious lies for ulterior motives against the personage of Dr Abdul Jimoh without minding the peace of the state. We want the public to note the following;
•There is no “#10m Admission Processing Fund” scam. A careful look into the allegation revealed that a legal payment was made to Global Wise, a technology company contracted to handle the Institution portal after the former one, Dallash Communications was discovered to be gaming the system in connivance with an official who has since been suspended by the Ministry. The claim that funds from admission screening were laundered is in the figment of the imagination of these people. We can confirmed though that the payment made to GlobalWise was approved by the Management Board and it followed all due processes recognised by the bureaucracy. It appears that KNYF is ignorant of how the system works and would not ask to know there was no way a Rector could have unilaterally made such payment on his own without the knowledge of the Board and Governing Council. So, the allegation is frivolous and false. They should rather give Dr Abdul Jimoh the credits, as we found out, for encouraging internal audit of the Bursary Department which revealed a leakage in the system to the tune of 30 million naira. That is what fair people do.
• Truly, the Rector has a house in Oyun Community in a sub-area called Tepatan. Contrary to the claims by KNYF, it is not a bungalow. We were also shocked to discover upon a visit that the house is not recently developed as trumpeted by this group. It looked completely like one built at least five years before now. We strongly hold that it has no imprimatur of proceeds of “shady bank dealing” between him and the FCMB described by the group. We wish to say that such property may not be beyond a public servant with over 20 years of active contributions in academics who rose through the ranks with sheer brilliance and hard work to the position of Deputy Rector at the Federal Polytechnic, Offa. Unless there is another property somewhere fitting for a bungalow, this very claim of a 4-bedroom bungalow built for the Rector by FCMB at Oyun is ungodly and unfair to him. The public should take note.
•First, the issue raised about Mr AbdulGaneey Lanre, a staff at the Bursary Department who was suspended and denied payment of salaries and allowances for an alleged offence of truancy and dereliction of duty predate Dr Abdul Jimoh’s appointment. But with a strong concern for authority abuse, we wanted to know how the head of an institution would be abetting indiscipline, so we inquired into it deeply. Facts of the case are that Mr ‘Baba Dudu’ felt cheated by his department and wrote a letter of appeal to the new rector (Dr Abdul) in demand for justice. The Rector in turn wrote back to his department for details of his ordeal. The department claimed he was absent at work for some time and subsequently stopped paying him. The man concerned claimed that he was never issued a query or notice to that effect and was never given a sack letter too, therefore contended the propriety of their decision of non- payment of salaries against him. It was then the Rector prevailed that the Disciplinary Committee should look into the issue and submit their report.
We are not proud of Baba Dudu’s alleged behaviour and are waiting for the committee’s report but it would be unjust to stop outright payment of his salary without notice, query, or a sack letter. Such could also have easily become a legal case against the institution.
So, we hold that the directive from the Rector to continue paying him as long as he remains an official staff of the polytechnic pending the verdict on his case with the department by the Disciplinary committee may not be nepotistic as being alleged but fair and in the protection of the Institution’s prestige and honour which a legal case might have brought into disrepute.
•Our group is unaware of a unilateral power of a rector over that of TETFUND’s directives to refund the grant for a defaulting lecturer from the purse of the institution. Nonetheless, we tried but could not find how and when Dr Abdul Jimoh stopped Tetfund from prosecuting any staff who defaulted the guidelines and principles of the agreement which guide funding for scholarship and other training locally or internationally. The fact that those accusing him could not even mention the defaulter’s name made it easily pass for a bogus claim to dent his image. It was from this point we began to take a position on KNYF as a bunch mischievous of elements on a mission to malign the good name of the man and sabotage his efforts at repositioning the school.
•Kwara Polytechnic is an institution which has a standard and competent Academic Planning Unit (APU) with proven men of integrity. It was revealed that whoever is attending a workshop or conference as the case maybe can only get the approval of the Academic Board Committee only upon the recommendation of the Academic Planning Unit in which it means it has nothing to do directly with the Rector. According to the findings, Dr Abdul Jimoh as the rector has no power to list or de-list any staff from attending a conference or workshop as against the power of the Academic Planning Unit and Academic Board of the Polytechnic. Flowing from such knowledge, it was discovered that the decision to organise or sponsor conferences or workshops or not, lies with the above bodies and it was not true that the Rector was acting against their resolutions at any time. We would have loved it if KNYF had made a definite example and back such with proof to help our fact-finding.
On that note, none of the allegations levelled against the seasoned administrator could be taken with seriousness. We urge the public to ignore the jaundiced report. Our verdict is based on a clear and discreet investigation into Dr Abdul Jimoh’s stewardship, in line with our commitment to ensuring excellence in the public institutions, in which he is exonerated.
We are still at a loss how a group could have woven such defaming contents about him. However, it was scooped from the conversations with the staff, also, that Dr Abdul is a victim of persecution in the media because he resolves to sanitize the system. We gathered sadly that some principal members of the institution are in opposition to his reforms for reasons unknown other than the principle of transparency and accountability.
It was said the hostility became fiercer after the Ministry of Tertiary Education suspended Bursar of the Polytechnic Hajia Aisha Mohammed for sharp practices. The people loyal to her who are mostly long-term members of the system are not at peace with the incorruptible mien of the rector for fear of being caught in illicit dealings.
A bit of digging into the perception of members of Staff also revealed that the article written by Kwara North Youth Frontiers is widely believed to be strongly connected to the Hajia Aisha Mohammed- caucus’ agenda to fight the rector to a standstill for daring to audit the bursary among other acts considered taken to rid the system of corruption– an action line they considered as an affront to their personal interests. Such claims may not be far from the truth as the woman is well-known from Kwara North.
Nonetheless, Patriotic Kwarans’ Youth Movement does not want to run into hasty conclusions but strongly feels that, whatever is KNYF’s motivation, they need to take a break. We are particularly concerned about how they have started making the narrative take the shape of Kwara Central Vs Kwara North, a dangerous profiling which may throw the state into anarchy.
We are aware of the workings by the Visitation Panel constituted by Governor AbdulRazaq upon their visit to the polytechnic which we learned commended the rector’s leadership. Nonetheless, we believe conflict is continual in a human setting. Therefore, whoever has a genuine case against him should write officially to the Ministry of Tertiary Education or EFCC for proper action. But not through this cheap blackmail and pull-him-down Machiavellian approach.
Flowing from such a stand, we declare Kwara North Youth Frontiers’ statement as malicious and a baseless concoction written to tarnish the name of the rector and Kwara Polytechnic as a whole. We are concerned that such action is inhumane and ungodly and also dangerous to our peace and progress as a state. We call on the Director of State Service (DSS), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to track and invite Ambassador Haroun and Hajia Fatimah Gobiyeruwa if they are not operating a faceless group for questioning on acts bordering on spreading of fake news and incitement against public institutions which are all capable of undermining the peace and security of the state.
We wish to encourage Dr Abdul Jimoh to be undeterred in his commitment to excellence and accountability as a guide to his leadership of the institution. The PKYM urges the government and the public to rally round him as a collective agenda to make Kwara State Polytechnic a bastion of knowledge and haven of moral germane to building and grooming the incoming leaders of the state and nation.
Publicity Secretary, PKYM.