Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun has said that the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, will continue to run its normal academic programmes in the next four years.
Amosun also dismissed insinuations that the institution had gone into extinction following its upgrade to a university.
He made the clarification when he spoke to protesting students under the aegis of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Ogun chapter, at the Oke-Mosan Governor’s Office in Abeokuta.
The state government recently upgraded MAPOLY to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH) and also created Ogun State Polytechnic to be located at Ipokia area of the state.
Placard carrying students who marched from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Abiola Way to the Governor’s Office in protest, carried placards christened “Rescue Ogun State Education Campaign.”
Some of the placards had inscriptions which read: “Save Ogun State Education”, “Education must survive” and “Mapoly must survive.”
Amosun also said he would discuss with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) on the problems in the institution.
He explained that students running various programmes at different levels would complete their studies and would not be taken to Ipokia.
Amosun, however, said that there would not be automatic appointment for the aggrieved lecturers in both the university and the new polytechnic.
“I am not happy because this is my school. What is happening today is because those that have been given the privilege to serve us are not serving well.
“Everybody here will finish their courses; it will take four years before MAPOLY will go into extinction.
“You are not going to Ipokia. If the lecturers don’t want that, we will sort them out.
“We will seek for new lecturers for the university and the new polytechnic.
“Mapoly lecturers are not comfortable with it. I said the appointment they have is for MAPOLY, for the new university, they will have to reapply.
“If they are qualified, they can take them. I will ask the commissioner to meet them again,’’ he said.
On the delayed examination, the governor stressed that the lecturers should explain why they decided to hold the students to ransom.
He argued that the reason should not be because the state government created a new school.
“We are only admitting ND1, if you have carryover, you are going to Ipokia. I told them (management), don’t admit new students to MAPOLY,” he said.
He added that education would be free at the primary and secondary schools, adding that government would need to subsidise tertiary education.
The governor said the state government was working hard to improve the standard and quality of education in the state.
Earlier, Olawale Balogun, the NANS Chairman in Ogun, explained that the students were not happy with the standard of education in the state.
Balogun urged the government to address the issue as a matter of urgency.
He specifically mentioned the delay in the commencement of examination at MAPOLY, saying the action would affect the career of the students.
Balogun also decried the cancellation of the payment of Senior School Certificate Examination fee and the hike in the acceptance fee of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye.
Meanwhile, the Rector of the school, Prof. Oladele Itiola, has proceeded on his terminal leave.
The Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, announced the appointment of Ayodeji Salimon as the Acting Rector of the school.