- Prince Tony Momoh masterminds the outcome.
- Auchi people wants indigene as next Rector
- Dr. Jimah didn’t make shortlist twice
By Ehi Ekhator
A group of Auchi Polytechnic lecturers have reacted to the appointment of the new Acting Rector, Dr. Sanusi Momodu Jimah, describing the process as fraudulent.
Speaking with NAIJA CENTER NEWS, the lecturers who didn’t want to be named claimed that Dr. Momodu was not qualified and was not shortlisted after the interview.
The aggrieved lecturers accused Prince Tony Momoh, a close friend to the appointed Acting Rector as responsible for the skewing of the outcome.
It was gathered that in November 2015, an advert was placed in a national daily declaring the position of REctor Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi vacant. On the the expiration of the tenure of immediate past Rector, Dr. P. Idogho in February 2016, Engr. J Baraimah (a Deputy Rector Admin and an indegene of Auchi) was appointed to act as Rector pending when a new Rector would be appointed.
It was gathered that Engr Baraimah was not supposed to be the acting Rector but was selected as an indigene instead of the second Deputy Rector who was an Esan man.
It was also gathered that applicants were invited after which, qualified persons where shortlisted. However, after a lot of petitions based on the shortlisting process, an interview was finally conducted for all the applicants (shortlisted and not shortlisted) on the 14th July 2016.
The source claimed that among those who attended the interview were lecturers as low as Lecturer III for a position ordinarily reserved for Chief Lecturer.
The source added ” Against all known procedures, Dr Sanusi Momodu Jimah ( one of those not originally short listed before nor among the five successful/recommended after the interview to the Minister of Education), also a native of Auchi, has now been appointed Acting Rector by the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Dr. M. Kazaure to take over from Engr. Buraimah (who had acted for a year) after the committee set up to appoint a new Rector have concluded its job and made its recommendations known.
“It is of interest that the said , Dr Sanusi Momodu Jimah who has now been forced on the academic community of Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi is not even qualified for the exalted office of Rector as he does not have the basic requirement for such position of Rector. Whereas Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi offers course in Urban and Regional Planning, He has his Masters and PhD in Geography and Regional Planning; a course that is not offered in the polytechnic.
“One of the requirements as advertised was that to be qualified to be short listed at all in the first place, such a candidate must have his Masters and/or PhD in a course that is offered in the Polytechnic. Dr Jimah obviously does not meet this all important Requirement as stated above, he has his Masters and PhD in Geography that is not taught and not Urban and Regional planning that is being taught in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.
“This was the very reason why he was not short listed in the first instance. However, as a result of pressures from certain quarters and to accommodate him, the rules were fraudulently bent and all applicants (even a Lecturer III) were invited for the interview. After the interview process, he was again not recommended for appointment obviously because he was found not to be appoint-able by the committee. As a matter of fact, he was rated 14th out of a total number of 24 lecturers that were interview by the panel.
“It is therefore shameful and makes mockery of laid down rules and procedure that an unqualified man be appointed in acting capacity to pave way for a substantive appointment in the nearest future. This is fraudulent and may result in the polytechnic losing her accreditation any time soon should this misnomer be made to stand.
“The arrow head of this fraud and substitution of merit with ethnicity is Prince Tony Momoh. We reject this ethnic based appointment in totality and ask that the recommendations based on the report of the interview be implemented without any further delay to pave way for the appointment of a qualified person. We should not be seen to be encouraging a situation that amounts to sending a very wrong signal to our young students. Ours is an Ivory Towel where merit and not anything short of it should be the major consideration. “
One of the applicants who pleaded anonymity with NAIJA CENTER NEWS due to the sensitivity of the issue confirmed the claims. He said that rather than appointing the first Deputy Rector Admin who was an ESAN man as the Acting Rector as it is usually done, the position was given to Deputy Rector Academics who was an Auchi man on the ground that he was the first to be appointed a chief lecturer.
The applicant said that Auchi Palace cannot be left out of those who influenced the decision to appoint an Auchi man since they had been agitating for an indigene to take over from Dr. P. Idogho.
The source said “The process from the point of advertisement to interview were flawless. The only areas where there were challenges was after the advertisement, people applied and a committee came from the Ministry of Education to shortlist. After the shortlisting, somehow the report of the shortlisting got out and those who were not shortlisted started writing petitions to the Ministry. So Another committee came to shortlist again and it was the same thing the previous committee did, this led to another set of petitions.
“The first shortlisted candidates were seven that were supposed to go for the interview but because of the numerous petition, the Ministry instructed that everybody that applied should go for the interview and that was how twenty four (24) applicants were there.
“After the interview, nothing happened. The man who was there had been on acting basis for a year and when the Staff Union went on strike, one of their demands was that the government should appoint a substantive Rector, but we were shocked that someone who was part of the interview, who didn’t make the shortlisting and had to go for the interview because everybody had to go, all of a sudden received a letter from the National Board Certificate Education in Kaduna that he has been appointed as Acting Rector to take over from another Acting Rector and the two of them are from Auchi.
“If Dr Sanusi Jimah was qualified, I am sure he would have been shortlisted but he was not. The rumour has been on ground that the Auchi people say they want their own people to be the Rector this time, so i wouldn’t distance the palace from it. The name of Prince Tony Momoh has been reoccuring as the mastermind.
“The Issue is that we have two deputy rectors. When the former Rector was through with his tenure, they appointed one of the deputies to act. If the acting one said he was no longer interested, there is another deputy Rector who also did not apply or who applied but no longer interested and didn’t come for the interview. They should have given the Acting Rector to continue in the capacity. But for the fact that the second Deputy Rector is not an Auchi man, that was why they didn’t give him the position. The man is an Esan man.
“In Administration we have two Deputy Rectors: (Deputy Rector Academics and Deputy Rector Admin). The Admin comes first before the academics. Instead of giving the Deputy Rector Admin who is an Esan man, they gave it to the Deputy Rector Academics who is an Auchi man claiming that the Deputy Rector Academics became a chief lecturer before the Deputy Rector Admin.
“The truth is, in administration sector, the Deputy Rector Admin should have taken over. That has been the practice in Nigeria. There is a picture playing out from the scenario.
I am more qualified than other contestants – Acting Rector
However, the Acting Rector, Dr. Sanusi Jimah who spoke with NAIJA CENTER NEWS said that those contesting his emergence are less qualified. He said many of those who applied had been accused of taking monetary bribes and sexually harassing the female students.
Dr. Jimah said that contrary to the claim that he didn’t have the qualification, he has the required qualification and he school and worked in the same institution for the past 23 years of his life.
He said “I have an OND and HND in Urban and Regional Planning. I have a post graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning, i have a Post Graduate Diploma in Technical Education. I have an MBA (A Master of Business Administration). Let me explain further.. A Master of Business Administration means that we offer Business Administration in the Polytechnic, so if i don’t have any other qualification, that qualifies me to the office.
“Let me go further, I have an MSc in Geography and Regional Planning. MSc in two areas means a double major so it means i have MSc in Geography and another in Regional Planning. The same in PhD. I have a PhD in Geography and a PhD in Regional Planning. In Auchi Polytechnic, we offer Urban and Regional Planning. Regional Planning in a core area that makes me very well qualified aside the fact that i have a Master in Business Administration.
“It was cleared to everybody that there were flaws in the selection process and because the government has the final say on who to appoint as an Acting Rector, they chose me. It was the government decision and for the position, i am qualified for it.
“Aside the fact that i have several personal membership and fellowship including that of Town Planner, Environmental Society and several others. The people who are said to be complaining are less qualified if they are asked to submit their CV.
“I have about sixty three conference papers i delivered for my credit, and i have about 41 submission in national and international journal. They went through the backdoor and tried to shut me down by all cost.”
On why he was not shortlisted if he had an impressive, the Acting Rector said “The shortlisting was done by a group of persons who didn’t like my face. It was not on the qualification they did not shortlist me, they said some of us did not include our credentials. But we protested that the advert did not say so, the advert said we submit our credentials at the point of interview, so when we complained to the appropriate authority, they set up a panel to checked, came out and discovered it was true. It wasn’t just me, we were more than five that was affected.”
Dr. Jimah dismissed the speculation that the former Acting Rector was appointed based on his ethnicity, adding that it was the sole discretion of the government. He added that the second Deputy Rector applied for the same post but didn’t come for an interview.
He said: “The second Deputy Rector applied but didn’t come for the interview. He refused to come because he was not interested. The appointment of Deputy Rector and Acting Rector does not follow a definite pattern, it is someone who is capable that is appointed.
For some Example where they appoint the Deputy Rector Administration as the Acting Rector, but in this case, they said the most senior Deputy Rector to act. In our ranking, the Deputy Rector Academics is junior to Deputy Rector admin but they went ahead to appoint the Deputy Rector Academics because there is no definite pattern. It is at the prerogative of the government even sometimes, the government in some cases, employ people outside the polytechnic as Acting Rector.
He continued: “The people who are complaining are those who had gone beyond and wanted to be appointed through the backdoor and when it didn’t work out, they fell out. The acting rector is not a matter of competition, the government has the prerogative to appoint anyone.”
The AR also dismissed the speculation that one Prince Tony Momoh masterminded his appointment, he said ” I don’t know who did, i think God almighty did. The truth of the matter is that when you want a political position, you must ask someone to chip in a good word for you, so a position like this is now political. But I have not gone to anybody for such, i believe in my prowess.
“Of all of us who contested, nobody has head sensitive positions like myself in the polytechnics. I have made my name and i don’t want to condemn anybody. Most of the people who contested, they have cases of harassing women and collecting money. I have been on ground here for 27 years as a lecturer. I attended this school, who do they think is more grounded in this matter?”