NIGERIA. Bida: The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Zone A in Nigeria has expressed its displeasure over the reappointment of the Rector of The Federal Polytechnic Bida, Dr Abdul Abubakar Dzokogi describing it as an aberration of the law.
The Union said that the appointment of Dzukogi for a four year tenure when it was clear that he had less than four years to proceed on retirement is against the Polytechnic Act, 2019
In a statement signed by the Zonal Coordinator, ASUP Zone A, Dr Kasim Ibrahim demand relevant authorities to direct Dzukogi to immediately vacate the Office of the Rector adding that his continuous staying is illegal and contravenes the extant law.
The Union further frowned at the Federal Ministry of Education for defending its decision declaring that a circular signed by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation cannot be superior over the Federal Polytechnic Act, 2019 which was amended and passed into law by National Assembly Members and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
” It is unimaginable that a Circular written by individuals for a reason best known to them can replace a law of the land.
“This act can be described as a clear manifestation of a situation where the interest of individuals supersedes the general interest of Nigerians and Nigeria as against the campaign mantra of the current admiration willingness and commitment to adherence to the rule of law”, the statement read.
Section 14, subsection 4 Polytechnic Act 2019 which provides for retirement clearly states that: “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Pensions Reform Act, the compulsory retirement age of staff of the Polytechnics shall be 65 years”.
While section 16 subsection 4 of the Act further states that “there shall be no Sole Administration in any Polytechnic in Nigeria”.
The Union pointed that Dr Abdul Abubakar Dzukogi had retired from the services of the Polytechnic on 9th June 2020 via a letter dated 10th June 2020.
The Union further expressed dismay over a purported directive by the Federal Ministry of Education to enable him to continue in office to serve out the remaining part of his tenure, an action, which according to the Union, is alien to the law.
The Union pointed out that by his retirement, Dzukogi ceases to be a staff of the Polytechnic and could not occupy a position stipulated by Law for a Chief Lecturer in the Polytechnic.e
The Union also pointed that as of 15th February 2021, Dzukogi had already clocked 65 years of age and that by law, he ought to have exited the system.
“Just as the Executive Secretary of NBTE, Mr Expenyong Expenyong, and many Rectors, as well as Chief Lecturers, honourably did in the recent past on the attainment of 65 years retirement age, Dzokogi should retire.”
The Union also states that the Federal Ministry of Education is yet to provide the New Nomenclature which the System would recognise Dzukogi as the head of the Institution having been deemed to have exited compulsorily and voluntarily because the Act establishing the Polytechnic in Nigeria no longer recognises him as Rector nor Chief Lecturer because he is not a Polytechnic Staff anymore.
The Union Demands
The Union Demands the President and well-meaning Nigerians to intervene by compelling the appointing authorities to call on the Federal Ministry of Education to reverse itself by correcting this anomaly.
The Union also the authorities to direct Dzukogi to immediately vacate the Office of the Rector and Acting Rector be appointed as the staying of the former is illegal and contravenes the extant law.
The Union demanded that machinery be put in place for the appointment of a substantive Rector for the Federal Polytechnic Bida in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Polytechnic Act 2019, as amended