By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Isa Muhammed, and Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Professor Sam Egwu, are currently embroiled in allegations of nepotism and ethnic bias in the recent recruitment of four principal officers.
They were said to have favoured their kinsmen, even when those picked came last in the assessment test conducted by a committee last year and did not, therefore, merit the positions.
Vanguard gathered that in November last year, the Rector, acting on the instruction of the Governing Council, advertised for the position of Bursar, Registrar, Director of Works and Librarian.
The Chairman of the Board constituted an eight-man committee, which, on Friday, December 1, 2017, met and on December 19, 2017 conducted an interview and assessment test.
The committee forwarded the scores of each candidate to a consultant to compile before making their recommendation for the appointment.
However, the committee and some board members said they were surprised when, on January 22, the Rector announced the appointments without waiting for the recommendation of the committee.
The members said the Rector’s decision confirmed the rumour that there was a predetermined selection by the duo to favour their kinsmen, as two of the positions were given to the chairman’s kinsmen.
However, yesterday, the Rector said the allegation was false, stressing that the appointment was done to reflect equity and ethnic balance of the three senatorial districts.
According to him, “the appointment of the four principal officials was procedural and done with need for ethnic balancing. The Registrar and Bursar were given to the East, Librarian to the West and Director of Works to the Central.
“The Bursar and Registrar took leads with wide margins in the assessment. For the Liberian, only three applicants made it and the first two with higher scores were those applicants from the West, so one of them was picked.
“Truly, the person who scored second was appointed the Director of Works because that is the last position left and yet no one from the central senatorial axis made it for the other three positions.
“In the spirit of fairness and ethnic balancing, he had to be picked to fill the position of the central senatorial axis. He was picked not because he was my kinsman or for any shady deal. The appointments are to further unite the people of the state. People should stop this ethnic blackmail.”
Muhammed, who said he has explained to the Western axis community in the school how they arrived at the appointments, also denied any financial mismanagement, calling on his accusers to come out with evidence.