By Achadu Gabriel, kaduna
Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Prof. Idris Bugaje has resorted to blackmail and spread of falsehood in a bid to scuttle the process for the appointment of a substantive Rector of kaduna polytechnic, stakeholder’s forum of the polytechnic has alleged.
Titled: “Enough of Prof. ldris Bugaje’s excesses”, Kaduna polytechnic stakeholders forum, in a statement signed by its chairman and secretary Mal. Musa Muhammed and Joseph Kazachan on Monday also stated that Prof. Bugaje “is trying to scuttle the Rector’s appointment after he failed to have his way with the Federal Ministry of Education on the issue of the reappointment of the Acting Rector.
The statement stressed that “The Kaduna Polytechnic Stakeholders Forum is fully aware of the latest move by the immediate past Rector of the Kaduna Polytechnic who is also the current Executive Secretary of the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) to scuttle the process of the appointment of the substantive Rector for the institution.
“Having realised that the Acting Rector, Dr Sulaiman Umar, got the highest scores during the recent interview, Professor Bugaje has been making effort to see that either a candidate other than Dr Umar is appointed or the entire process is reversed. In fact Bugaje is on the loose and prancing around like a fascist leader conducting himself like a loose cannon without bounds in a manner that suggests that he would rather have Kaduna Polytechnic burns than allow the Acting Rector, Dr Sulaiman Umar be the substantive Rector
“In a letter he wrote to the Honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and to which the attention of this Forum was drawn,, Bugaje made some unsubstantiated allegations against the members of the interview panel, Governing Council and the Acting Rector.
“The letter is only the latest of his submissions to the Federal Ministry of Education and the Media on matters of governance of the Polytechnic.
Meanwhile, it is quite important to state that Professor Bugaje has all along been trying to create the impression that he has a tremendous influence or even outright control over the Honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and is therefore in a position to do and undo.
“He, in fact, goes around parading himself as the de factor minister who determines what happens in the education sector”, it stated
“It is, however, after he failed to have his way with the Federal Ministry of Education, especially on the issue of the reappointment of the Acting Rector which was done in strict compliance with the Provisions of the Polytechnic Act that he has now resorted to blackmail and spread of falsehood, all in a bid to scuttle the process for the appointment of a substantive Rector”, it stated.
The forum further noted that In the letter he wrote to the Honourable Minister, Bugaje, in his usual characterics, levelled allegations against the Governing Council and the Management of the institution on the basis of which he called for either the appointment of his preferred candidate as the Rector or the cancellation of the interview.
“This Forum wishes to remind Professor Bugaje that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) of which he is the Executive Secretary is a creation of the law and the enabling law has clearly specified statutory functions, powers and responsibilities of the Board. There is, in fact, no section of this particular law that empowers the NBTE or its Executive Secretary to recommend for appointment or removal of a Rector of any Polytechnic in Nigeria. Such powers are vested solely on the Governing Council of the polytechnics.
“From where then does Bugaje draw the power to reject the recommendation of Kaduna Polytechnic Governing Council of Dr. Suleiman Umar whom he rightly describes as the front runner among the three selected candidates for appointment as the substantive Rector of the institution?
“Is his action not tantamount to the clear usurpation of the powers of the Governing Council and, by extension the Federal Ministry of Education and therefore a crude violation of the law? Isn’t he, by so doing, carrying his unwarranted hatred against the Acting Rector too far?
“What has further revealed the hatred is his laughable argument that Dr. Suleiman Umar who holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Mathematics Education is unqualified to be appointed as the substantive Rector.
“This is a manifestation of a resolve to lower the image and self-esteem of Dr Umar who is, by all standards, an accomplished intellectual and academic. For the record, the Acting Rector served for more than thirty (30) years in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science.
“He rose in the Department from an Assistant Lecturer to his present rank of a Chief lecturer. Besides, he has served the institution in various administrative capacities first as Head of Department, Mathematics Statistics and Computer Science and later Head of Department, Mathematics and Statistics, then Director of Academic Planning, Deputy Rector (Administration) and lately his present position as the Acting Rector.
“For Bugaje, who is presumed to be an intellectual to deliberately play down all these academic and administrative achievements of Dr Umar and pronounce him as unqualified to hold the office of the Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic is most unfortunate”, it added.
According to the forum, another issue worthy of highlight “is the allegation that his favoured candidate who came third in the interview and whom he recommended as the most qualified for the appointment was skewed out of contention. According to him, the said candidate scored 71% on the first day of the interview but the score was later reduced to 69% on the following day. For goodness sake how logical and feasible is this supposition? Isn’t it a child-like thinking and mentality?
“Isn’t it a shame that this irrational supposition has come from a person who is always boastful about his present academic status as a professor?
“Anyway, anybody conversant with the current interview process of selecting a Rector of a Polytechnic knows that it is conducted by a panel of nine to ten members, selected based on the provisions of the Polytechnic Act ( as Amended). Each member scores independent of the other based on agreed template and the scores are never collated, tabulated, nor final figure arrived at until the last day of the interview.
“This was the method that was appropriately applied during the interview under reference.
The public needs to know that Bugaje’s favoured candidate did attend the interview on the first day but did not score 71% nor his marks reduced to 69% as mischievously claimed in Bugaje’s attempt to misinform the general public and misguide the authorities into taking wrong decision on the issue of the appointment of the substantive Rector for the Kaduna Polytechnic.
Furthermore Prof. Bugaje has, in his letter, accused the Governing Council and the Acting Rector of sharp practices. On this, our Forum charges him to quickly validate those weighty allegations with incontrovertible facts, otherwise the Governing Council and the Acting Rector or even the entire Management should not hesitate to take legal action against him. In fact, a failure by the Executive Secretary of the NBTE to substantiate those allegations are most likely to compel the Kaduna Polytechnic Stakeholders Forum to file a suit in a court against him for an attempt to cause disharmony in the institution.
“The time has come for all objects of Bugaje’s persistent attacks as well as the victims of blackmail to make a concerted move to bring to and end his effort to cause crisis in Kaduna Polytechnic.
“This Forum wishes to inform the public that he is presently in court with a staff of the Budget and National Planning Office of the institution for accusing the officer of corruption with the litigant vowing to pursue the case to its logical conclusion.
“We have understood that Dr Sulaiman’s refusal to do the biddings of Bugaje in the award of contract has been the cause of the incessant attacks on him and the Governing Council by Bugaje.
“A particular case in point that might have infuriated NBTE Executive Secretary was the blatant refusal of the Acting Rector to yield to his demand for a huge sum of money as gratification.
Going down the memory lane, we can recall how Bugaje literally escaped being
“hanged”, by the then Kaduna Polytechnic Governing Council as a result of his impropriety as he absconded after being on study leave which is an offence that attracts outright dismissal. This was even an issue that resurfaced when he appeared for an interview that resulted in his appointment as Rector.
“He was, at that time, asked whether or not it was morally appropriate for him to seek to govern the same institution he abandoned and against which he committed such a severe offence. Rather than responding to the question he went berserk and began to exhibit some very embarrassing attitudes.
“In conclusion, while our Forum wishes to express its determination to continue to monitor developments in our dear Kaduna Polytechnic and contribute to the sustenance of peace on its various campuses, it also advises Professor Idris Bugaje to allow peace to reign in the institution and concentrate on the execution of the mandate of the NBTE of which he is the current Chief Executive. Enough of the excesses and intransigence”, it stated. End.