ORDINARILY, the opinion of Mr Lanre Adewole published in the Sunday Tribune of January 29th 2017 need no deserved response but as a way of guarding his readers with the truth undiluted, hence this unbiased and factual opinion.
His article first and foremost is divisive, a call for Yoruba disintegration, which is parochial and ultimately self-centered, an approach to war between brothers of confraternity which spans decades. Best of all, it is full of misinformed contents, jaundiced misinterpretation of clearly defined judgment, unverifiable assertion and insincere junks. At a time when all hands are on deck to proffer workable and sustainable solutions to the impasse that has engulfed LAUTECH, the 27-year old university founded on unity, rich cultural heritage and sound ingenuity to propel the South West educational prowess in an emerging technological world, same moment, agents of distractions and destruction are relegating all constructive mechanism already put in place to fan the ember of discord.
Osun State had remained a good partner in the development of the LAUTECH project for over 25 years without defaulting in assigned roles of responsibility and supervision as equal partner both financially and otherwise except for the last two years of economic downturn which crippled all existing states within Nigeria except Lagos State. It may interest the writer, as well as his readers that the NUC rating which ranked LAUTECH as the best state university in Nigeria for two consecutive years (2003 & 2004) was premised on so many attributing factors, among which is the equipping and advancement of medical practices on the projections of the teaching hospital located in Osogbo which was largely financed by The State of Osun gulping several billions of naira. Alas, All projects executed on the Ogbomoso soil of the campus were jointly funded, despite widespread ill-feeling in all concerned quarters that there’s wide disparity and disconnection in the assets owned and shared, a tale of exploring Osun largesse and financial resources to grow the Oyo economy yet, Osun had remained consistent and responsive with her Omoluabi spirit in all her obligations to the joint heritage of the Yoruba nation of Oyo and Osun people with the biggest and largest number of evolving towns and villages co-existing in harmony, peace and brotherliness. A striking example is the placement of a part of fraction of the college of health sciences which is the training ground for medical students in Osogbo, The capital of Osun as against the full complement of the college of health sciences, as stipulated in the University Edict while the administrative, almost all the eight academic faculties, pre-degree, part-time and post-graduate school are located inside Ogbomoso, over 90% assets and educational facilities in one location and the institution is equally and jointly owned and funded . So also, the quota system of the staff strength in both academic and non-academic is in favour of Oyo who has double in figures to her Osun state counterpart, these are verifiable facts in public domain.
A case to erase the erroneous belief of the tag “debtor” hung on Aregbesola’s neck is the N900m fund disbursement to LAUTECH to offset monetisation arrears by Osun Government for which till date Oyo State government had not dropped a penny to provide the counterpart contribution. The trending practices in a global village of the academic sphere shows clearly that the best and well-rated universities, colleges and training institutions are economically and financially self-sustaining, not totally dependent on the owners of the schools/proprietors/governments, a norm preached, exercised and practised even in privately owned educational facilities.
The Supreme Court judgment of 2012 is unambiguous should the writer subject himself to research, instead of expressing gross misinterpretation of facts to the generality of people. The judgment as delivered empowers both Oyo and Osun state governments the ownership of the institution, without recourse to any privileged position by the parties involved, contrary to Adewole’s sentimental opinion. In the light of this unified understanding was the reenactment of this allegiance by the two governors most recently where they both pledged their unalloyed commitment to the sustainability of LAUTECH. By all standards of cohesion, if peradventure Osun State decides to walk out satisfying the writer’s urge, the net worth of LAUTECH in structures, goodwill and educational value is worth well above N250bn, how and where will Oyo State get to part with 50 per cent valued at N125bn liquidity to Osun?
And maybe the writer do not know, both states have a university each solely sponsored and financed, Osun boasts of UniOsun, while Oyo has a Technical University. The distortion of elementary facts on the Osun State University information is libelous and patently untrue. For emphasis sake, the Osun State University has not received subvention from the Osun government for over five years yet they have been able to effectively run the institution. A clarion call for support by all major stakeholders and well-meaning individuals in the society should be the drumming slogan for crisis-solving journalists and not a call to war.
- Alhaji Bashiru Omidiran is the Chairman, LAUTECH Alumni Association, Osun State Chapter