By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado Ekiti-The Rector of the Federal polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Dr Taiwo Akande has raised the alarm over alleged invasion and destruction of the institution’s farmlands by Fulani herdsmen.
At a pre-convocation media briefing over the weekend, Dr Akande said the institution had suffered unquantifiable loss in both monetary terms, academic and research materials to the menace.
She called on the Federa Government to intervene in the crisis, as the police and eminent Nigerian like Chief Afe Babalola whose university is located directly opposite the polytechnic had tried to curb further damage but to no avail.
“This menace of Fulani cattle rearers has been most destructive. To many of our demonstration farms and pilot plantations
“It is most painful to also disclose that some of the pilot farm projects,academic, research demonstration farms and recently established plantations on which we pinned our hope of future revenue enhancement have been destroyed one after the other by the Fulani cattle rearers
“They will bring their animals to the campus environment and eat up every green thing in sight”, she said.
The Rector said these systematic destruction of the institution’s farms and project sites had been on since over two years, adding that another major problem confronting the polytechnic was the activities of land grabbers and illegal settlers .
Akande also listed continued dwindling resources arising from low funding by the federal government and poor patronage by the private sector in terms of patenting the technological breakthroughs of the Institution and endowmen as parts of current challenges of the polytechnic.
She pleaded passionately with the federal government to remove the age-long dichotomy between the polytechnic and university education, saying this would make make polytechnic education more attractive to Nigerian admission seekers and sponsors alike.
The Rector said that that the 16th combined convocation ceremony which holds this week would involve graduating sets of 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 academic sessions.
Giving a breakdown, she expllained that they will involve a total of 11,558 made up of full and part-time 3,855 HND and 7,882 ND.