The Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti has been closed down due to violent protests by the students over increment of school fees and lack of good lecture halls and hostels.
A statement on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 signed by the Rector, Dr Taiwo Akande said the decision to shut the university was taken in the overall interest of peace and order.
The statement reads:
“Arising from the ongoing industrial action by the Trade Unions of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, the Rector, Dr Akande, on behalf of the Academic Board of Studies has declared, with immediate effect, a mid-semester break for its full time programme.
“Consequently, all full-time students have been directed to return home and await further instructions.
“All residential students are, therefore, advised in their own interest, to vacate the polytechnic campus latest by 12 noon on Tuesday, January 20.”
The polytechnic’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and other unions, including the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Union of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) have been on strike over non-payment of allowances and non-remittance of deduction of cooperatives to the appropriate quarters.
The protest was led by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) South-West coordinator, Mr Sunday Ashefon started as as early as 7.00 a.m on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.
The students also disclosed that the school authorities were owing the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) electricity bills to the tune of N2.5 million, which had resulted in complete darkness around the school vicinity.
Speaking with reporters, the vice chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Ekiti State, Oluwapelumi Ogunmekun, accused the management and union of toying with the students academic future.
Also speaking on the issue, the students union president, Oladapo Ajibola, explained that the students had resumed since January 4 without any academic lessons. He also added that the students union would hold a meeting with the management to find a way out of the crisis.
Deputy Rector (Academics), Afolabi Bamidele, explained that the management was working hard to resolve the said crisis.
He disclosed that the management had met with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) officials in Abuja, in a bid to resolve the crisis, that is the students had to leave the school for all issues to be resolved.
He said, “We are having a headway with the unions, but one of the unions had a congress on Monday and voted that the strike should continue and we now feel that the students should go home so that they won’t be in the school, doing nothing.”