The management of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, on Tuesday closed down the school.
The Acting Registrar of the polytechnic, Sule Atiku, said this in a press statement he released on Tuesday.
He said that the management took the decision to avert any likely crises that might arise following the protest embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, RUGIPO chapter on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the students of the institution were supposed to have started their first semester’s examinations for the 2018/2019 academic session on Monday, June 17, 2019.
This was disrupted by ASUP’s protest.
The Acting Registrar in the press statement on Tuesday said: “I have the mandate of the management to announce to the public that Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, is hereby closed down until further notice”.
It added: “In view of this development, all students of the institution are hereby advised to vacate the institution not later than 3:00 p.m., today, Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
“This closure has become imperative in order for council and management to forestall any breakdown of law and order within the institution’s environment.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of ASUP in the institution, Oluwadare Ijawoye, told newsmen that the association was only expressing its grievances toward opposition, injustice and ill treatment from the school management.
Ijawoye noted that the policies and decisions of the Acting Rector of the polytechnic, Gani Ogundahunsi, were hostile and against the welfare of ASUP members in the school.
He said that the management withheld almost N500 million out of N1.7 billion released by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to offset nine months’ salary arrears and emoluments of the institution’s staff.
According to him, courses in RUGIPO are on the verge of de-accreditation by the National Board of Technical Education.
He also stated the non-payment of staff salaries and emoluments as well as no promotion of staff for a long time as some of their grievances.
The ASUP’s chairman, who said that it was disheartening that his members had not been promoted for three years, attributed the faults to Ogundahunsi-led management’s policies.
He also accused the management of non-remittance of six-month salaries deduction, amounting to N630 million, to various cooperative societies in the school.
While appreciating efforts of the state governor on improving standards of the institution, the chairman urged him to nip in the bud the alleged hostility of the school management to its staff.
He said: “Ogundahunsi-led management wants to cause crisis in RUGIPO and we are not going to allow it. He wants to sabotage the efforts of the governor.
“We know that he is being used by some politicians to taint the integrity of Governor Akeredolu but we have passed a vote of confidence on Mr Governor for his magnanimity toward education, especially, in RUGIPO.”
Ijawoye also advised the governor to appoint a substantive rector for the school, saying that the current acting rector was inexperienced and incapable to lead the polytechnic.
He commended the students for their understanding as the union continued to fight for its rights.