The Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Hephzibah Oladebeye, has denied the allegations by some lecturers that he invested a whopping sum of N1 billion on Bitcoin business.
Oladebeye, who spoke in Ado Ekiti, the state capital on Thursday, while reacting to the protest and resultant disruption of 2nd semester examinations over non-payment of Part- time claims, described the allegation as puerile.
He added that the claims were part of a grand designs to tarnish his hard earned integrity and calculated attempt by some ‘renegades’ to destabilize his tenureship, which he was full of landmark academic exploits.
During the protest held on Tuesday, the Chairman Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics Dr. Olabisi Olasehinde had accused the Rector of investing N1bn on bitcoin business, being money allegedly earmarked to defray the PT claims.
Oladebeye, who described the claims as cheap blackmail, said it was wrong for the union to be inciting lecturers 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”, he said.
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 industrial dispute and gives the management 21 days ultimatum, followed by another seven days.
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“Protesting when such provision was not followed was a gross misconduct according to civil service rule. I knew they were out to disparage my person, because this was no longer 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”.
However, the Alumni of the Polytechnic, has appealed to ASUP to cooperate with the Rector to transform the institution to first class ivory tower, saying resorting to mudslinger over matter that could be resolved amicably would affect the school ranking among its peers.
Appealing to the warring parties to sheathe their proverbial swords, the National President, Alumni Association, Surv. 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 to look as if we are in a 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,” he said.