The Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, has been shut on the orders of the authorities of the institution and the Students’ Union Government (SUG) has also been banned by management, with immediate effect.
The actions followed the violent protest staged on Friday, November 1st by the students over alleged meddling of management in the affairs of the SUG, including alleged attempts to install its stooges as leaders of the students’ body during its election held on Thursday.
During the protest, the students had disrupted normal academic activities by blocking all the gates leading to the institution for hours, thereby hindering human and vehicular movement. Some valuable facilities in the institution’s School of Engineering were also destroyed.
The institution’s Director of Protocol, Information and Public Relations, Adeyemi Adejolu, in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, denied the students’ claims that authorities were interfering with the union’s affairs.
He also described as needless and unwarranted the violent protest by the students, saying their action was based on mere rumour from unreliable sources, adding that management had nothing to gain from imposing candidates for students’ union election.
According to him, the decision to shut the polytechnic was arrived at during an emergency joint meeting of the Academic Board and Management Committee held on Saturday.
“The attention of management of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, has been drawn to insinuations suggesting that the students’ protest of Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 was caused by an alleged imposition of candidates in the students’ union elections, which held the previous day.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, it has never been in the tradition of the institution’s management to impose candidates under any guise in the electoral process of all unions at the polytechnic.
“Also for over two decades now, students’ union electoral processes are run and conducted by the students themselves through their accredited representatives called APECO. The management only engages in monitoring the process by ensuring that the rules set for they set for themselves are strictly adhered to, under a well- secured atmosphere,” he said.
Adejolu said management was, therefore, surprised at the last unprovoked protest and unverified allegation of imposition of candidate. “Management has consequently affirmed that all students resident on campus should promptly vacate their accommodation on a week compulsory break,” he said.
The institution’s spokesman said that students would resume November 10, adding that second semester examination would commence on November 12. He also announced that embargo had been placed on students’ union activities with immediate effect. Adejolu said that an 11-man committee had already been set up to look at the immediate and remote causes of the protest.