Aside the intense anticipation on who would successfully win the 2019 gubernatorial election in Ogun State, apart from the political tussles, it appears that the fate of two state institutions lies in the possible outcome of the election.
There are speculations that the governor-elect might bring stability to conflicting survival of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ogun State Polytechnic and the self-proclaimed Moshood Abiola University Of Science and Technology.
These speculations might actually be true, hence why the present gubernatorial candidates from different political parties have continued to restate their commitment to developing the education sector within the state with a major focus on secondary and higher institutions if eventually emerge.
Since the idea was initiated by the incumbent Governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, to convert the 39-year-old polytechnic into a University of Science and Technology and establish another state polytechnic that would be called Ogun State Polytechnic. However, mixed feelings from different quotas have greeted the realisation of this dream and the survival of these institutions have been queried with questions begging for answers.
Meanwhile, all dreams and questions got respective answers after the Governor set out to begin construction for the new Ogunpoly, which forced him to move for quick accreditation of courses, and also to reject the acceptance of National Diploma students in Mapoly with the instruction that reapplications of qualified lecturers into the supposed university, Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology be made. These moves consequently led to the acceptance of new intake for Ogun poly, Ipokia.
After a series of condemnation, strategies consultations and appeals from associations and top-state personalities, the government reconsidered to admit students into Higher National Diploma program as well as students into the National Diploma program in Ogunpoly.
For over a year, there had been intense disagreement between the State Government, Mapoly Academic Staffs and leadership of NBTE at large which had led to several measures including strike action, protests, the imposition of new laws and change in the management.
Also, the school management, student union leaders, ASUP Mapoly, top state personalities and the state government had held several meetings but all to no avail.
In a further development, Prof. Oludele Itiola, the rector of the institution, was replaced with Ayodeji Tella, who acted in that capacity for about a year and a half, till he got replaced by Dr Samson Odedina. The present rector doubles as both the rector for Mapoly and Ogunpoly.
Further research showed that in the last NBTE ranking of polytechnics for 2017, both Mapoly and Ogunpoly were missing on the list.
As of now, Mapoly runs an HND program while Ogunpoly runs an ND program, as the duo admits desired students respectively both at the same campus in Abeokuta, where the initial resides.
Meanwhile, academic activities have been halted as ASUP in Mapoly are demanding to be paid outstanding of two-month salaries which allegedly the state government had not authorised its disbursement. This forced the union to join the ASUP nationwide strike. Although, both measures have not produced a positive result.
To this end, no one really has an idea as to what the plans of state government are towards the institutions, as most eyes are focused on the outcome of the gubernatorial election. There is an assumption that if the governor’s anointed candidate wins the election, Mapoly would cease to exist, thus giving rise to Ogunpoly and MAUSTECH. Contrary to this, if the governor’s anointed candidate loses the election, then proper resolutions would be made as to the existence and establishment of any of the institutions.
Mapoly, Ogunpoly and MAUSTECH are on a watchlist as all these assumptions are likely to be answered at the March 9 governorship poll.