Anger and criticisms are said to have greeted the appointment of an acting rector for Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua in Ikot Ekpene local government area of the state, Straightnews has learnt.
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmnauel had approved the appointment of Dr. Moses C. Umobong, a Barrister at Law and an indigene of Atiamkpat in Onna local government area, as the acting rector of the institution.
In a press release dated January 8, 2019 and signed by Mrs. Ekerebong Akpan, the state Head of Civil Service, the appointment takes immediate effect and thanked Dr. Israel B. Affiah for his services to institution as a rector.
“Dr. Affiah, who was appointed a rector of the Polytechnic on January 11, 2012 and re-appointed on January 11, 2015, is rumoured to officially hand over to the acting rector on Friday, January 11, this year,” a source in the institution confided in Straightnews.
Further investigations carried out by Straightnews show that the Office of the Registrar of the polytechnic had on September 11, 2018 advertised in newspapers vacancy for the post of the insitution’s rector.
Among the conditions listed: Being a holder of a Master’s degrees (preferably a doctorate degree) from a recognized institution in any of the NBTE core and accredited discipline offered in the Polytechnic with a minimum of 15 years teaching experience, at least five (5) years of which must have been gained in a polytechnic and being a Chief Lecturer from the Polytechnic System with not less than four years’ experience on the rank.
Other conditions: Must belong to NBTE core and accredited programmes, m ust have served as Head of Department, Academic Dean or Director for at least one year; demonstrating evidence of strong academic and administrative leadership, initiative and creativity in policy formulation, good human relations and positive managerial attributes.
The rest were having evidence of scholarly publication in reputable journals and presentation of seminar/workshop papers; providing evidence of membership of reputable professional body/bodies in Nigeria; being a fair-minded and dynamic individual with an impeccable character/reputation; having experience in top management in a tertiary institution, preferably a polytechnic would be an added advantage and being proficient in Information & Communication Technology (ICT).
A member of the Governing Council of the institution who spoke to Straightnews on condition of anonymity said the acting rector has not met all the conditions for appointment and therefore is not eligible to be appointed to the exalted position.
According to him, “the Governing Council after advertisement for the position interviewed more than eight applicants for the position.
“The council finally recommended one Dr. Donald Ikpe, a microbiologist still from Onna local government area, for appointment to the office of a rector.
“Though Dr. Umobong was interviewed, the council did not recommend him for appointment because he did not meet the conditions for such appointment.”
“For example, two of the conditions for appointment as the rector to-be were that he Must belong to NBTE CORE and accredited programmes and Must have served as Head of Department, Academic Dean or Director for at least one year.
“Umobong holds all qualifications in Law, a course that does not belong to NBTE CORE and accredited programmes and he was appointed a Dean but for one week he never resumed duty before another person was appointed to the office,” the source noted.
“Though the academic community is quiet, the Governing Council feels slighted by the appointment. It means that their recommendation has been rubbished by the state governor, Udom Emmanuel. Even the lecturers, students and non-academic staffers are not happy over the appointment,” he lamented to Straightnews.
Another source close to the family of Umobong told Straightnews that the acting rector is a biological brother to Ekerebong Akpan, head of the Civil Service.
The state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Victor Inoka did not respond to calls by Straightnews reporter.
Efforts to reach either Mrs. Akpan or Dr. Umobong were unsuccessful as at the time of going to the press.