Despite being upgraded to a university, the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Ojere, Abeokuta, Ogun State will still exist for the next four years.
The state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, said this on Tuesday while addressing students of the institution who embarked on a peaceful protest to his office.
It will be recalled that the state recently upgraded MAPOLY to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH) and created Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia.
The students, under the aegis of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Ogun axis began their protest at the National Nigeria Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) filling station, Abiola Way down to the Governor’s Office where the demonstration terminated.
They tagged their action ‘Rescue Ogun State Education Campaign’ (ROSEC), while some inscriptions on the placards read: “Save Ogun State education”, “Education must survive” and “Mapoly must survive”.
Chair of Ogun NANS, Comrade Olawale Balogun, told the Governor that the students were not happy with education in the state and that government should address the issue as a matter of urgency.
He specifically mentioned the delay in the commencement of the examination of MAPOLY, saying the action would affect the career of the students.
Balogun said the association does not agree with the cancellation of WAEC fees and the hike in the acceptance fee of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye.
Responding, the Governor said government was working hard to improve the standard of education in the state.
On MAPOLY, Amosun disclosed that it was their lecturers who were delaying their exams.
He said the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) of the school would be invited immediately to address the issue.
The Governor said the students who were currently running various programmes at different levels would finish their studies, insisting that no student would be taken to Ipokia.
Amosun emphatically said that there would not be automatic appointment for the aggrieved lecturers in both the University and the new polytechnic, insisting they would have to apply for the new ones.
“Everybody here [current MAPOLY students] 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”
On the university and new polytechnic, he said, “We will look for new lecturers for the university and the new poly. 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”.
He added that, “Education will be free at the primary and secondary schools, for tertiary we will subsidise it”.
Meanwhile, the Rector of the school, Prof Oladele Itiola has proceeded on his terminal leave.
The State government in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa however appointed, Mr Ayodeji Salimon as the Acting Rector of the school with immediate effect.