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10.02.2009 General News

BNI storms T-Poly…Rector's Veep ready to bell the cat


INFORMATION reaching The Chronicle indicates that senior officers of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) stormed the Takoradi Polytechnic in the Western Region to demand answers from the authorities over the 'abuse of power' by the Rector, Dr. Samuel Obeng Apori, coupled with alleged general maladministration' that is believed to be crippling the progress and development of the Takoradi Polytechnic.

Sources at the office of the BNI confirmed this when contacted by this reporter and indicated that the officers had indeed gone to investigate issues which had reached boiling point, following the workers continuous expression of worry about recent events in the institution.

Before this visit by the security services, the conduct of the Rector had come under questioning, as aggrieved workers of the school felt intimidated for fear of victimization. Issues arising from the infamous strike action embarked on by the student body of the school to topple the Rector, seem to have reared its ugly head again.

The student body wanted to kick against the retention of the Rector, Dr. Samuel Obeng Apori, whose popularity among the students had sunk to its lowest ebb, as the student union of the school were caught out, and suffered a court action which they lost, and were forced to pay a fine of GH¢500.00.

A source revealed to this reporter that 'It was Nana Kofi Coomson, a local NPP man, who paid the fine for the students, prompted by the cry for help of Mr. Ankumah, also a local NPP supporter.

This was what saved the students, although Kofi Coomson did not want his good deed to be known, since he had good relations with the Head and the Vice Rector of the School'.

There still seem to be a growing concern in the school, as the Rector's last days in office approaches.

According to reliable information, his tenure of office will end in September, but the period leading to his departure could spell disaster for the school, since some of the workers are silently agitating that government must intervene to save the Polytechnic before he exits in September.

Investigations conducted by this reporter revealed that the Polytechnic, under the present head, had seen the highest level of nepotism in its history. 'The Rector's kith and kin dominate the staff population,” one of the workers pointed out in an interview with The Chronicle.

According to sources in the school, the workers are mainly kinsmen of the Rector, and described them as square pegs in round holes, since they do not qualify to handle the jobs they have been assigned to do.

For instance, information indicates that one Miss Philomena Aboagye is currently the acting Librarian, at the expense of the qualified Albert Intarmah, who has rather been handed a subordinate position.

In a similar situation, The Chronicle has gathered that the two Telephonists and Receptionists are all relations of the Rector. 'They run (daily) shift systems between 8:00am and 5:00pm and enjoy two days off-duty in a week, doing about thirteen hours a week, instead of forty as required by the laws of the school,” one management staff revealed to The Chronicle.

To further emphasise the breakdown of order, sources say the head of the Accountancy Department is alleged to be a Management Information Systems (MIS) expert, whilst the Head of Graphics Department is believed to be a Sculptor.

These developments in the school would impact negatively on the quality of the degree programmes that have been started, they said.

Meanwhile, when this reporter contacted the Vice Rector of the school, Mr. Anthony Bassau, who is currently on a year's leave, he confirmed the report and indicated that the school was being run by the Rector like a 'Police head'.

Mr. Bassau challenged the then Regional Minister, Mr. Anthony Amoah for the Mpohor Wassa East seat on the ticket of the NDC, but lost. Mr. Amoah himself is a subject of Chronicle investigations over issues of malfeasance.

He also confirmed that indeed, half of the workers of the school were from Anyinam, the home town of the Rector. He however, insisted that the workers of the school were afraid to talk openly about the distressing matter because of fear of victimization, but also hinted that if Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU) is notified, either nationally or locally by the employees, then they could get some urgent help, with support from the government to reverse the trend, especially when the new Minister for Education is approved by the Appointments Committee of parliament.

Attempts to reach the Rector for his comment on the subject failed, but the Assistant Registrar of the school, identified as Alex Kwabia, when contacted refused to comment.

He maintained that it was only the Personnel Manager of the school, Mr. Michael Adusei, who could determine whether there was nepotism regarding staffing in the school.

When the Registrar of the school was also contacted by this reporter, he refused to comment, but held the view that the Rector might have had some reasons for his appointments. “The Rector may have good reasons for putting them there” he opined.

Mr. Kwabena Addai Marfo would not, however, comment on the issue of nepotism, but directed that since the issue was about Dr. Apori, he should be the best person to defend himself.