By Emmanuel Olorunsola
The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), has absolved the suspended Students’ Union President of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Adegboyega Emmanuel Olatunji, of cultism allegation for which he was arrested by the police and suspended by the school management, accusing the institution of victimization.
In a press statement in Abeokuta on Sunday, the National Vice President of NANS, Ojo Raymond, the student union said that the report of its fact-finding committee on the arrest of Olatunji revealed a clear case of intimidation and harassment by the school management.
Raymond said that the NANS Committee report revealed that the arrest was orchestrated by the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Olusegun Aluko, when he could not cow the student leadership to do his biddings.
He further alleged that the management of the institution resorted to victimisation with the aim of destabilising Union activities in the school.
“The report of the fact finding MISSION set-up by NANS on the allegations of Cultism and illegal arrest of one of our Senators in NANS and the President of the Student Union Government of the Federal Polytechnic ILARO, Comrade Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji made it bold to say that it is a clear case of victimisation to destabilise the Union.
“We are not unaware of the antics of majority of our institution administrators in using the instruments of blackmail, victimisation and of course intimidation to destabilise unionism in most of our campuses with pronounced aim of making the Union stooges in their hand.
“The drama surrounding the arrest of the President, FPI, Ilaro, was orchestrated by the Rector when all attempts to cow him from raising some fundamental questions were not yielded to by him and this is evident in the quick manner in which the management of the institution suspended him without giving him the opportunity to defend himself,” Raymond stated.
The Association has however threatened to storm the national headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) in two weeks time, to submit a petition against the Rector over allegations of financial misappropriation and embezzlement.
The Association further accused the Rector of having business interests within the Polytechnic including building of personal hostels within the environment of the school.
Raymond said it had become imperative for NANS to take a drastic step to call the attention of the Federal Government to probe the activities of the Rector, especially as it relates to award of contracts for projects in the Polytechnic.
The student umbrella body also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Honourable Minister of Education to urgently set up a panel to investigate the execution of ongoing projects and projects executed by Aluko.
It alleged that majority of the projects did not follow due process and were executed by the Rector through his fronts and private companies.
“National leadership of NANS will be matching down to the headquarters of EFCC and ICPC on Tuesday, July 7 to submit a petition against the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Dr. Olusegun Aluko for gross financial misappropriation and embezzlement.
“The National President of NANS, Comrade Danielson Bamidele Akpan will lead the 16 National Excos, 37 states chairmen of the Joint Campus Committees (JCC) of NANS, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the four Zonal Coordinators of NANS in the match to the headquarters of EFCC and ICPC.
“We call on the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and that of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to as matter of urgency investigate the administration of all funds allocated or generated by Federal Polytechnic Ilaro since the appointment of Dr. Aluko as the Rector of the polytechnic,” Raymond said.
He lamented alleged constant oppression and victimisation of student union leaders by managements of tertiary institutions across the country in attempt to kill student’s activism, disclosing that NANS has set aside a day, tagged, “national day of action against victimisation and intimidation of student union leaders”.
According to him, the national leadership of NANS has issued a directive to all the student union government leaders in all the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory to organise a mass protest against alleged victimisation and oppression of students.