Federal Polytechnic Nekede has raised the alarm over plan to defame the acting Rector of the Institution, Chris Onyemenonu.

A release signed by the Special Adviser (Media) to the rector, Dr. Ugochukwu Iwuji described those behind the plot as mischief makers who have only laid ambush against the young administration which is barely one week in office.

The release in full:

“Our attention has been drawn to a perfidious scheme of some mischief makers to tarnish the hard-earned image of the Acting Rector of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Chris Onyemenonu.

These agents of falsehood have circulated a video with a spurious claim that the new Polytechnic helmsman has declared the Polytechnic a PDP institution.

They have also published a libelous and false story in Announcer Express Newspaper through one Victor-Wallace Unegbu claiming that the Acting Rector was represented by the wife of the immediate past Rector of the institution in an event where the declaration took place.

Their intention is principally to mislead the public into believing that the institution or its principal officers have political leaning.

They even alleged that staff of the institution were persuaded the event, a programme that was meant for female students of Engineering School.

One of the plans of these fifth columnists is to give the impression that last Thursday’s event of the Council of Vice Presidents in School of Engineering Technology of our institution was organized to give audience to some PDP actors.

On the contrary, the event which had Engr. Dr. (Mrs) Joan Arimanwa as Keynote Speaker dwelt on the theme: Female Engineers Advancing Technology in Society, the aim of which was to advance the cause of female engineers in a technologically driven world.

However, the event was not approved by Management as of the time it held.

May we place it on record that the identities of guests invited by the students were completely unknown to the Management of the Federal Polytechnic prior to the event.

So whatever view they might have expressed do not represent the views of the institution.

Fundamentally, the Management of the institution was unaware of the event hence neither the Acting Rector nor any Principal Officer was present.

It is customary for such events to be declared open by Rector or his representative.

But in this case, the reverse was the case.

The Management of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede hereby distances itself from any programme held by a student body to grant audience to politically exposed persons in general and the People’s Democratic Party in particular.

Following this development, the Acting Rector has constituted a panel to probe the organizers of the event for not obtaining approval to hold the ceremony in the institution.

It is a crass display of negligence for a student body to hold an event without getting approvals from the Division of Student Affairs or Office of Polytechnic Development.

It is even worse when the Acting Rector’s portrait was published in the event’s flier to give false credence to the occasion.

This is an unhealthy development that cannot be tolerated by the institution.

It has therefore become imperative to make the following categorical statements clear to the general public:

1. The Acting Rector, Chris Onyemenonu and his Management were not aware that a student body held a programme where it yielded the floor to partisan characters to speak.

2. The Acting Rector did not approve any such event from a student body, either through the Division of Student Affairs or the Office of Polytechnic Development.

3. The Acting Rector never attended the said event, neither did he delegate any of his Principal Officers or anyone else to represent him.

In other words, the student body acted on its own accord, an action that is already a subject of an investigative panel.

4. The itinerary of the Acting Rector was quite crowded on the day the said event took place as the Polytechnic headman presided over an Academic Board Meeting (equivalent of the University Senate Meeting).

After this, he received some groups on a courtesy call.

Finally, he went on familiarization tour of the Palace of HRH Eze Godwin Merenini of Umudibia.

5. Federal Polytechnic Nekede views it as a punishable offence for a student body to hold an event without written approvals from Management in line with extant laws guiding the institution.

6. The Polytechnic is purely an academic institution whose mandate is to train students to be technologically skilled and innovative in order to bridge the manpower gap in the nation.

7. The Federal Polytechnic Nekede is completely apolitical to the extent that it does not offer its facilities for political campaigns, neither does it align with politicians.

8. Ours is a Federal Institution which owes total allegiance to the Visitor to the Polytechnic, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

9. Therefore, those who purport that the Acting Rector or any Officer of the Polytechnic has declared the institution for PDP are, simply, mischief makers who have only laid ambush against the young administration which is barely one week in office.

10. Thus, we view this mendacious claim as false alarm blown to discredit the new administration and expose it to public odium and scrutiny.

The general public should kindly ignore the thread-bare antics of these paid and doomed detractors.

Dr. U. O. Iwuji

SA (Media) to the Rector

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