The new Chairman, Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, has said his colleagues across the 35 federal polytechnics across the country were worried by the ongoing nationwide strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
Oyedepo said the situation became worrisome coming at a time technical education was becoming the topical issue of national interest.
The Chairman spoke in Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday, during a courtesy visit to the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, in his palace.
Oyedepo and members of his Council also paid similar homage to the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Local government Chairman, Mrs Omotunde Fajuyi and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN).
On the protracted strike being staged by ASUP, Oyedepo said the industrial action was disrupting the system and causing serious friction in the country’s technical education.
“The nation has 35 Federal Polytechnics and all the Chairmen and members of the Council in these institutions are worried. We are concerned because it is disrupting the system,” he said.
“The students are no longer allowed to be on campus as a result of this. We are going to take some concrete steps to resolve the issue with the FG.
“Now that the councils are constituted, we will interface with the Minister of Education, so that the problem can be solved. How can we be in schools when students are not on campus?”.
Oyedeoo added that the Polytechnic has written to the state government since 2020 to relocate SurajuDeen Nursery and Primary school built on the institution’s land, expressing regret about the delay of the state government in hearkening to the request.
“Council was reliably informed that the Over 400 hectares of land belonging to the Polytechnic have been and is still being encroached, leaving the Polytechnic community porous and vulnerable to attacks. We appeal to the community leaders to help stop this”.
Oyedepo also revealed that his mission is to upgrade the institution’s development through partnerships with critical stakeholders.
“We are not saying the Polytechnic should be a university, but it can be given the power to award degrees as obtainable in some institutions abroad even as a Polytechnic because we have the facilities”.
The first Governing Council Chairman of the Polytechnic, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), stated that his university will cooperate with the Polytechnic for a robust exchange of academic ideas that can be of immense benefit to the country.
The Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, appealed to the council to work hard to promote the image of the polytechnic and make it a model in the country.
Oba Adejugbe assured that the community would do everything possible to checkmate land encroachment in the institution, saying all the mistakes causing the problem will be addressed.