THERE was pandemonium on Tuesday when alleged miscreants stormed Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, threatening some members of staff who are of Osun State origin to vacate the school premises if they love their lives.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the miscreants, numbering over 15, stormed the university community, attacking non-indigenes of Oyo State who are staff.
The thugs, according to sources, while launching the attack on members of staff told them to go back to their state, Osun, that the state should severe its joint ownership of the institution to Oyo.
Nigerian Tribune sources revealed that the miscreants invaded the institution after the delegation of Osun State Education Committee, which came to appeal to Osun State-born indigenes over the ownership imbroglio.
The source further informed that the committee, which met some staff members who are of Osun origin, advised them not to exercise any fear over the ownership matter.
It was further gathered that the committee, however, advised them to stay away if it seems their lives are in danger.
No sooner than the committee left that the miscreants, allegedly led by one Bello, stormed the premises of the institution.
The hoodlums, the Nigerian Tribune gathered then headed straight to the office of the bursar of the institution, who was reported to be from Osun State. But as they were forcing their way into the bursar’s office, the security officer at his office, who was trying to prevent them from entering, was beaten mercilessly.
Earlier, the hoodlums were also said to have attacked one of the staff, on their way to the bursar’s office, who hails from Oyo State but whose name “Osunbade” was misinterpreted as being from Osun.
The source further informed that the bursar who was inside the office was alleged to have locked himself inside the office.
Though, the sources were not sure who made contact with the police while the bursar was being held hostage right in his office, but noted that police officers and men of the state security services eventually came to his rescue.
The source declared that when the miscreants got wind of the coming of the state security services, then took to their heels.
The bursar, it was gathered, then headed straight to the police station to formally complain to the security operatives.
Some key members, who Nigerian Tribune learnt were handling the matter, as at the press time, could not comment.
The registrar of the institution, in a response to a short media message (SMS) sent to his mobile line, replied “I will get in touch with you later, please.”
When contacted for the first time, Bello told Nigerian Tribune to call back in five minutes time. After the expiration of the first break, he said he was currently engaged and told Nigerian Tribune to call again in 15 minutes times. Thereafter, he did not pick his calls again. An SMS informing him of his alleged role in the crisis was later sent to his line, but did not reply as at the time of writing this report.
Subsequent calls put through to his number became engaged.
The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) LAUTECH, Dr Biodun Olaniran, confirmed the attack, but did not attribute it to any group.
According to Olaniran, “a group of people who are not known to us came and attacked my members. I think they’re thugs because they are not known to the university community. We made adequate report to the Registrar who took up appropriate action on the matter.”
Meanwhile, the Oyo State House of Assembly has mandated the Commissioner for Justice, Mr Oluseun Abimbola and his education counterpart, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, to intimate on situation and status of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, in two weeks time.
Abimbola and Olowofela had been summoned to Tuesday’s plenary to provide information on the status of the subsisting Memorandum of Understanding between the Oyo and Osun governments on the establishment of LAUTECH, with a view to pushing for the sole ownership of the institution by the Oyo State government.
Also, the Assembly sought information on the 2010 Supreme Court declaration on the joint ownership of the university by the Osun and Oyo governments.
The Assembly had then also decried the crisis facing LAUTECH ranging from strike spanning over three months to outstanding salaries, poor infrastructure and poor funding.
Speaking, the commissioners applied for more time to examine existing provisions and contact concerned stakeholders in the raging issues affecting LAUTECH.
The House subsequently granted the request of the commissioners with a mandate for them to also proffer recommendations with a view to ending the lingering strike in the institution, in the short run; and address controversies around the ownership status of the institution, in the long run.