The Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Hephzibah Oladebeye, has described the allegation by some lecturers that he invested a sum of N1 billion on bitcoin online transaction as baseless and spurious.
The Rector spoke in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, while reacting to the disruption of the ongoing second-semester examinations over non-payment of Part-time claims (Pt claims) by the protesting Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics(ASUP).
It was gathered that the institution’s management, had issued queries to the lecturers for disrupting examinations and for holding a protest in flagrant violation of the civil service rule.
Meanwhile, the Alumni of the Polytechnic has appealed to ASUP to cooperate with the Rector to develop the institution, saying resorting to blackmail over issues that could be resolved amicably would affect the school ratings.
During the protest held on Tuesday, the ASUP Chairman, Dr. Olabisi Olasehinde, had accused the Rector of investing a sum of N1bn on bitcoin business, being money allegedly earmarked to defray the Pt claims.
Condemning the protest, the Rector said: “Article 23.1 of the civil service rule that guides ASUP stipulated that before academic staff can proceed on a protest, they must declare an industrial dispute and give the management 21 days ultimatum, followed by another seven days.
“Protesting, when such provisions are not followed is gross misconduct according to the civil service rule. I knew they were out to disparage my person because this was no longer a protest but hooliganism.
“But let me say this, administrative processes are being put in place to handle the issue. If they have not gone to the gate to advertise themselves, it could have been a different thing. No responsible management will fold its arms and allow that to go unchecked”.
Oladebeye, who described the allegation of investing N1 billion on bitcoin as raised by ASUP as cheap blackmail, said it was wrong for the lecturers to be inciting the staff against the management to satisfy their political interest.
“Now, the executive of ASUP have received alerts of their Pt claims and other lecturers taking part-time lecturing, they must give peace a chance and allow the examinations to continue”.
Appealing to the feuding parties to sheathe their swords, the National President, Alumni Association, Abiodun Oyedokun said the Rector has done excellently well in the areas of staff welfare like promotion, loans and payment of allowances.
“The Pt claim is not for our lecturers alone, some of the lecturers were from other schools. ASUP must have pity on the students who are running out of cash and food on campus. We don’t want the public to perceive this institution as unserious, which can affect our ranking.
“The Rector can’t embezzle, he is a man of impeccable pedigree. The alumni are not happy about the allegation. Our institution is one to be reckoned with globally and this crisis is not good for our rating.
“We appeal to ASUP to stop creating tension and making this institution look like we are in turmoil. We will try our best to mediate and restore stability, but we won’t allow the image of this institution to be soiled by those fighting personal battles”.