LESSONS FROM THE OKE-OGUN POLYTECHNIC, SAKI (TOPS) MANAGEMENT CRISIS
I want to appreciate God Almighty, our Creator, and the Great Judge, to whom all of us are accountable and will return. To Him alone be glory, adoration, honour, power and majesty. In addition, I want to appreciate all friends and foes; those who spoke for or against my person; all who appreciated the quality of leadership I gave to TOPS which earned the institution a befitting and enviable name; as well as those who slandered me without hearing from my side. I have known from experience that, when you are at the top, you become the topic of discussion; that no matter what, you cannot be acceptable to all. You will be living in a fool’s paradise if you are expecting praises from all. I leave all judgments to all-seeing, all-knowing and ever-present, just God.
I deliberately decided not to join issues with anybody on SAKI PARAPO WHATSAPP platform because that cannot solve any problem, and now that God has vindicated me (with the publication of Oyo state Government Paper), I volunteer this information for objective-minded and well-informed individuals. Also, it is an avenue to respond to Prof Moshood Tijani’s post of April, 2018. Above all I will continue to trust in the living God, who delivers those who are unjustly persecuted, victimized and slandered.
MY STEWARDSHIP IN THE OKE-OGUN POLYTECHNIC, SAKI (TOPS)
- Who is Mr. OLADEJI, Matthew Olaniyi?
It is not possible to write the history of TOPS without mentioning the name of OLADEJI, Matthew Olaniyi:
the last Substantive Director of Saki Campus of The Polytechnic, Ibadan; the Pioneer Rector of The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki; the only staff from Saki Campus (in 33 years of existence of the Campus) to have been popularly elected by the Main Campus, Ibadan, Saki Campus and Eruwa Campus to represent the Congregation (senior Staff) of the old The Polytechnic, Ibadan on the Governing Council ; the only staff from Saki Campus to have held chairmanship position of Sports Advisory Committee of the old The Polytechnic, Ibadan; he was also a member of the Take-Off Implementation Committee of The First Technical University, Ibadan.
Oladeji led Management positively changed the landscape of The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN TOPS UNDER OLADEJI MANAGEMENT
Before taking over the leadership mantle in November, 2012 as the last Director of the Campus; Eruwa Campus was rated better than Saki in terms of infrastructures and students intake. Moreover, infrastructural decay has set in at Saki Campus.
However, all the negative features changed within few months of my assumption of duty as the Director of the Campus. X-ray machine was procured; Water Factory project commenced; Science Laboratory Block of classrooms and Lecturers offices was constructed. The immediate transformation of the landscape of the Campus coupled with my positive contributions in the Governing Council of The Polytechnic, Ibadan in 2012/2013; and the meaningful agitations of patriotic Sakites, culminated in the granting of autonomy for the Campus in 2014.
By God’s providence, I emerged as the Pioneer Rector of the institution though not without petitions by agents of backwardness. My team instantly instilled academic, moral and financial discipline among staff and students of the institution. This paid off as our internally generated revenue (IGR) rose and was channeled towards development of TOPS; and the institution became attractive to prospective candidates because of peace and stability in academic calendar.
I personally launched out to source for fund externally to develop the institution.
Kudos to Uncle Wole Oladokun who linked me up with Uncle Niyi Otunla to secure fund at the federal level, which was judiciously used to facilitate construction of the first sets of Story buildings in TOPS. Also, Barr Bayo Shittu must be commended for agreeing to influence another federal government 150 capacity ICT project (which my management upgraded to 275 capacity to be able to get accreditation as UTME Centre because of our children who are travelling to other towns for the exams) to the institution with the help of key Sakites who helped to talk to him. National association of Saki Elites (NASE) under the leadership of Uncle ‘Dele Togunde must also be appreciated for influencing donation of books by some Publishers; and agreeing to site NASE ICT Centre in the institution.
I motivated Saki indigenes in the institution, while non-Sakites in the institution also keyed into the project, and as such, participated in making donations for the ICT project. While I personally donated N 250, 000.00, the staff of the institution donated over N 8,000,000.00 for the project. Engr. Gbadamosi (Himus), a patriotic and illustrious son of Saki, labored much for the development of the institution as we became like-minds in our passion for the development of the town. (Both videos and pictures of the developmental strides are released hereunder).
Note that all these developmental strides were taken without take-off grant or state government capital grant. We sourced for funds and donors and managed our IGR efficiently.
Students and staff of TOPS keyed into the revolution of development in the institution. The students donated Tennis Court; Toilet structures; Sports pavilion while staff embarked on construction of recreation Centre comprising of Staff Club, Conference hall and Union Secretariat. It must be stated that a virile Ventures (TOPS Ventures) was established. Within a year of autonomy, TOPS enlisted with relevant regulatory agencies: accreditation with NBTE; admission by JAMB; accreditation with NYSC; admission by NIPOGA, WAPOGA and OYSTIGA were secured.
Staff were sponsored for local and international professional and academic Conferences (within and outside the country) to give them necessary exposure. Our Management supported hosting of National and international conferences to the tune of N 250, 000.00 for each of the Faculties. We partnered with Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) for Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institution (ADAPTI) for periodic free trainings for all members of staff.
We started the process of TETFUND accreditation in 2015 but the process was stalled by non-constitution of TETFUND Board by Mr. President until 2018. I later went to collect letter of accreditation and admission of TOPS by TETFUND in 2018.
Our students participated in national and international Sports festivals; and in National academic debates and quizzes, winning several medals and trophies. As at 2018, we have not less than four (4) trophies in the Rector’s office and several medals for the students.
By early 2016, salary subvention greatly reduced and payment of salaries became irregular in Oyo State. We still managed to pay four (4) months of NET of salaries to our staff ahead of release of salaries from government hence, the reason for TOPS being the only tertiary institution in Oyo State that did not experience workers’ strike until the general strike of November, 2017. Both students, Staff and Management were in high spirits, demonstrating commitment and zeal to see to peace, stability and development of the institution.
In fact, all Panels sent to Oyo State Tertiary Institutions rated TOPS above its peers before 2018. (See the documents as posted)
LIST OF NEW PROJECTS EXECUTED BY TOPS SUBSTANTIVE MANAGEMENT (JULY 2014 TO DECEMBER, 2017)
- Faculty of Environmental Studies Complex (64 offices)
- Faculty of Business and Communication Studies Complex (24 offices)
- Faculty of Science Complex (30 offices)
- Faculty of Engineering Complex (14 offices)
- New Library Complex
- 500 seater Lecture Theatre
- Water Factory
- 275-capacty ICT Complex
- Deputy Rector’s Office
- Fish Hatchery
- Food Science Technology Laboratory
- Veterinary Clinic
- Science Laboratory Technology Department
- Registrar’s Lodge
- Car Wash
- Mechanical Workshop
LIST OF RENOVATED STRUCTURES
- Security Office
- Chemistry Laboratory
- Metal Workshop
- Glass Blowing Laboratory
- Old Library Complex
- Old Environmental Complex
- Extension of Health Centre (to accommodate more offices)
LIST OF ON-GOING PROJECTS
- Block of Two classrooms by ALUMNI Association.
- National Association of Saki Elites initiated ICT Hall.
- Market (Lock up Shops)
PERFORMANCE OF PROF. TIJANI-LED GOVERNING COUNCIL IN THE OKE-OGUN POLYTECHNIC, SAKI (TOPS)
The Oyo State Government White Paper dissected the Management crisis in TOPS and came up with objective verdict about what transpired between Oladeji-led Management and Prof Tijani-led Governing Council. The Paper commended the Management for demonstrating zeal and commitment to the development of TOPS (Recommendation 2). The same paper castigated Prof Tijani-led Governing Council for excesses, highhandedness and fraud among other things (Recommendations 12, 13, 17, 20, and 21).
Since the Prof Tijani-led Governing Council came in January, 2018, peace, stability and development ceased. Staff Unions were banned; Students Union was proscribed; the Management were sent on leave and later ‘suspended’ for trumped up charges of fraud. The Chairman, Council was the Petitioner, the Prosecutor and the Judge in his own case! He petitioned, sat as Chairman at the meeting, constituted the panel of investigation, and received the report for Implementation. In fact, judgment had been delivered before allegations were preferred against the Management. The former Chairman of Council, Prof Tijani had concluded investigations on purported fraud of Oladeji led management and published his findings to the Governor on 3rd December, 2018 without inviting the management members for questioning, which was alien to the enabling law of the institution. Though all the allegations were frivolous, I have ready defence which was presented to the Visitation Panel and all other places I was petitioned too. Later, they started inviting the management for questioning in April, 2019 for investigations they have concluded and published five months earlier.
It was obvious however that Oladeji Matthew was the target of Prof Tijani Moshood, since he also applied to be the Rector of the institution in the first instance (See Recommendation 13 of the WhitePaper).
It must be put on record that in 2016, Oyo State government sent Visitation Panels to all State-owned tertiary institutions, it was only TOPS that was not indicted in their reports (the reports are still in circulation). In addition, KPMG (an international audit firm) was employed to assess all tertiary institutions in Oyo State. The report of KPMG stated that:
“of all the institutions that became autonomous in Oyo State, TOPS shows the most promise.”
Similarly, it stated that:
“…the Management ( of TOPS) has been able to drive infrastructural development in the institution.”
TOPS had one of the best reports.
Furthermore, the Visitation Panel of 2019 affirmed that this same Oladeji-led Management demonstrated commitment and zeal to develop the institution. Could all the three Panels have erred?
Regrettably, since Prof Tijani Moshood led Governing Council asked the Substantive Management to proceed on leave on 13th September, 2019 (about 25 months ago), things have taken downward trend in TOPS.
Students’ intake has gone down from above 9000 to less than 6000 because the goodwill is no longer there. (Oba tó je tí ìlú tòrò…)
Since Oladeji-led Management went on leave, no single block was laid down as project by Prof Tijani and his allies except the TETFUND project processed by Oladeji-led Management but released recently.
Incidentally, government subvention has moved up to 75 million from 11 million it used to be in 2016, 2017 and later 22 million (after tax) in mid-2018. With 11m/22m, Oladeji-led Management was able to execute laudable projects but with 75 million, no projects could be pointed at in 25 months.
We left 72 cows (female cows of about 50) in September, 2018. But 25 months after, the number of cows has reduced to 57.
We left a functioning Bakery with a sales vehicle in September, 2018 with TOPS bread as one of the best in town. Now, bakery has folded up and the sales vehicle packed in mechanic workshop in town.
We left a Fish Hatchery that used to rake in profit from sales of fingerlings and juveniles. Now, fish hatchery has closed shop.
We left a flourishing Poultry where we were raising over 2,000 broilers periodically in partnership with AMO Sanders; and we have started production of frozen chicken. All these have fizzled out.
We left 20 hectares of farmland with Cassava and grass for animals. Bush has taken over the farmland.
The Microfinance Bank structure already furnished and equipped has been abandoned.
The slashing machines for grass cutting put in place while we held sway have been abandoned for manual cutting with cutlasses, thereby making the Campus bushy.
With our IGR and meager government salary subvention, we strove to give 2 hours of electricity powered by the school central generator.
Presently, IBEDC has disconnected the institution over a year ago because of debts and the central generator is not working.
The offices having electricity are the ones Oladeji-led Management have installed solar energy before leave was foisted on them.
Provision of campus wide internet facility initiated and operated by Oladeji-led Management has become a thing of the past in the institution.
As the salary subvention from government is increasing, TOPS has been degenerating under the then Prof Moshood Tijani led Governing Council and the cronies he installed as Management. There has been inverse relationship between upward review of salary subvention from government and development in TOPS since Prof Tijani Moshood arrived.
TOPS is yet to recover from the unwarranted shock.
- Please help us ask Prof Tijani Moshood to come into the open and tell us the funds he attracted to the institution; and to publish the projects he executed during his 18 months of stay. He only succeeded in disrupting the peace, stability and development of the institution.
- His mistake will hunt him for lifetime, because you hardly regain golden opportunity, once it is lost. He was given opportunity to add value to TOPS and write his name in gold but he bungled it.
All the information above are verifiable, just ask any member of staff of TOPS.
ON APPOINTMENT OF TOPS MANAGEMENT
Part of terms of reference of the Visitation Panel to TOPS in 2019, as advertised in the National Tribune, was to consider the process of appointment of the Management team in 2014 in relation to the observance of due process.
There was nothing untoward in the appointment of Management of TOPS in 2014 as it conformed to international and national norm (practice). I heard many unschooled commentators in tertiary institutional administration saying that the positions of Management ought to have been advertised. Maiden appointment of Management is always unilaterally done by Visitor (Governor/President) to the institution.
You can never see appointment of Management of a new institution advertised. The reason is not hidden. Registrar serves as Secretary to the Governing Council and he/she places the advertisement. Can a Governing Council exist without a Secretary? The answer is emphatic NO. The Registrar must be on ground. Similarly, Governing Council is incomplete without ex-officio members, of which Rector/Vice Chancellor is one. The wisdom in first appointing pioneer Management before inauguration of Governing Council is because Rector and Registrar must first be in place as custodians of records.
Governing Council only advertises subsequent appointments of Principal Officers, not the pioneer Management. Check the manner of appointments of Principal Officers in all these listed new institutions online:
- First Technical University, Ibadan. (2017)
- LAUTECH, Ogbomoso (1990)
- Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo (2020)
- Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko
- University of Agriculture Zuru (2020)
- Nigerian Army University, Biu
- Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate; and
- The nine federal tertiary institutions establhed in 2014.
ON ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD
The White Paper has settled the question of fraud once and for all. Prof Tijani led Governing Council was chasing shadow for the 18 months he acted as Chairman of Governing Council of TOPS, looking for what was not lost.
Fraud means “crime of using dishonest method to take something valuable from another person.” Who is asked to return what, by the Government White Paper? Chairman, Governing Council was asked to return a car; the cronies of the Chairman appointed fraudulently (sitting in offices not belonging to them) are also asked to return what they took in allowances that did not rightly belong to them.
Similarly, the Governing Council members made away with parting gifts of millions of Naira. In addition, the Governing Council was accused of many unwarranted sittings (because of pecuniary interest) instead of between 4 and 8 in a year.
The Visitation Panel report has vindicated Oladeji-led Mangement. Police Force, CIID, Iyaganku have absolved Mr. Oladeji, Matthew Olaniyi of all frivolous charges by Prof Moshood Tijani; ICPC cannot trace any illegal fund to my account neither have I committed any crime warranting losing my sleep. So, you need not speculate on the outcome of ICPC investigations. It will soon be visible to all. The root of lies is not deep, it will soon be exposed. Please why are they ( Prof Tijani and his cronies) running from pillar to post over nothing? First they brought a fake unprofessional auditor, invited by Prof Tijani; Prof Tijani brought his friends from UI to interview the auditors; and fixed the auditors’ fee.
For 25 months they have not been able to establish any wrongdoing against Mr. Oladeji Matthew Olaniyi, except malicious speculation. History will judge.
Tell Prof Tijani led Governing Council members to return the parting gifts of millions of Naira they shared for contributing nothing to the development of TOPS. Rather, the water of peace, stability and development they met was violated by them.
In fact, one of them included in this new Governing Council saw the red eye of the Unions at the interactive session the Governing Council held with the Unions when she was embarrassed publicly as being part of team of tyrants that caused crisis in TOPS.
IMPLICATIONS OF TOPS CRISIS ON SAKI
“Abéré bó lówó adétè, ó dète” (when a leper allows needle to slip off his hand, it becomes practically impossible to pick).
“A k ìí ta ará ilé eni lópò káá rii rà lówòn ón” (you cannot sell off your housemate cheaply and hope to buy back exorbitantly).
The Chairman, Governing Council, Rector, Deputy Rector and Bursar before the crisis were indigenes of Saki. Now, the equation has changed. Saki is now pleading to get just a slot, of the Rector! What a pathetic picture! You can only know the beginning of war; you may never be able to predict the end.
Oladeji, as the Rector, opened his door for Saki Parapo; NASE; and other indigenes of the town. He singlehandedly hosted several NASE meetings (in the institution); several Saki Development Agenda meetings from his pockets. He motivated TOPS staff to donate over 8 million Naira to NASE ICT projects, (himself donating N 250,000.00). he played key role in consummation of establishment of Command Science Secondary School linking up with Lt. Col. Gbenga Adegbola (another illustrious son being frequently persecuted by agent of backwardness) and other progressive minded individuals; Mr. Oladeji donated N 50,000.00 as part of the money for repairs of the building for National Civil Defence Corps and the National ID Project; donated N 20,000.00 as part of money for relocation of FRSC to mention just a few. He played a leading role in the build up to Saki Day Celebration (He still have outstanding money to collect he gave as loan to Saki Day Committee through Hons Rafiu Adekunle and Niyi Adebisi when we were sourcing for fund to get to the invitees).
On quarterly basis, TOPS under Rectory of Mr. Oladeji hosted Town and Gown Committee meeting to really have robust interaction with the town. I cannot figure out when last that meeting has come up after Mr. Oladeji led Management proceeded on leave.
Prof Tijani Moshood should tell us how much he contributed as donation to the construction of NASE ICT Centre or any project his Governing Council executed in TOPS.
Now, other communities are awake to the fact that TOPS belong to all of us and not Saki alone. You do not really appreciate the value of what you have until it is lost.
Until Saki is sincere and ready for the development of the town rather than pulling their sons down because of clandestine sentiments, the town will be on the same spot.
Finally, “it is not life that matters but the courage you put into it”. And I also add, It is not the certificate you possess that matters but the quality, expertise and professionalism you demonstrate. It is not your family name that matters but the honour you attract to it.
All is well that ends well.
At some other time, the inimical roles of some traditional title holders and some so called Saki elders in complicating the Crisis at TOPS will be brought to the fore.
OLADEJI, Matthew Olaniyi
Pioneer Rector of TOPS