Osun State Polytechnic Paralyzed by Protests Following Rector’s Suspension

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Osun State Polytechnic Paralyzed by Protests Following Rector's Suspension
Corruption Allegations Spark Protests at Osun State Polytechnic

Osun State Polytechnic witnessed a significant disruption of academic activities today as various unions in the institution united in protest against the recent suspension of the school’s Rector, Dr Tajudeen Odetayo. The state government, through the Ministry of Education’s Permanent Secretary, M. K. Jimoh, issued a letter dated July 11, 2023, announcing the suspension of Dr Odetayo, who had assumed the position just four months ago, following allegations of corruption. He has been replaced temporarily by Mr Kehinde Alabi.

The atmosphere at the frontage of the polytechnic entrance was tense as early as 7:30 on Tuesday morning when protesters began to gather. Carrying an array of placards with inscriptions expressing their disapproval of the Rector’s suspension, the demonstrators made their voices heard loud and clear.

The decision to suspend Dr Odetayo came as a shock to many, especially given the brevity of his tenure. The accusations of corruption against him have raised concerns among students, staff, and the entire academic community. The state government, however, maintains that the suspension is necessary to ensure a fair investigation into the allegations, with the intent to make an informed decision based on the outcome.

The embattled rector’s supporters believe that the timing of the suspension is suspicious and may have political undertones. They argue that Dr Odetayo should be given the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations before any punitive action is taken.

As the protests intensified, the situation on the campus became increasingly tense. In a show of solidarity, the students and the local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of the Polytechnic (ASUP) took the decision to lock the school gate, thereby preventing any academic or administrative activities from taking place.

The demonstrators vowed to continue their protest until the suspension is revoked or clearer explanations are provided by the authorities regarding the corruption allegations. They demand transparency and fairness in handling the matter, urging the government to conduct an unbiased investigation and allow due process to take its course.

In the meantime, the absence of normal academic activities has left students uncertain about the future of their education and anxious about the potential impacts on their academic calendar. The disruption has also led to mounting pressures on the management and governing council to address the situation promptly and find a resolution that satisfies all parties involved.

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