LAUTECH and the war postponed

The greatest news for the “warring” people of Oyo and Osun states today is the resolution of the age-long tiff between them on the ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) based in Ogbomoso. On Friday, the news hit the public space that the state governors, Adegboyega Oyetola and Seyi Makinde, had agreed to cancel the joint ownership of the school which had constituted a huge cause of disagreements among the states in close to two decades. The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, (NUC) while addressing the press in Abuja had said that “It is gratifying to note that … both owner states mutually agreed terms and the joint ownership of LAUTECH was formally dissolved,” after a memorandum of understanding by the two state governments.

Since the news hit the airwaves, trust politicians, the issue had become a subject of politics. While the PDP government of Oyo State has used the news to pillory the past government led by the APC for its inability to come to a truce over LAUTECH, the APC too lauded the Osun government under the APC for its peaceful disposition and sedate-mindedness in concealing the university to its parent state, Oyo, from where it was created in 1990. Former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, putting politics aside, also congratulated Oyo governor for actualizing his long-held vision of having the university totally belong to Oyo State. Amusingly, two governments in the past, each of which belonged to the same political parties, had fought unnecessary battles over responsibilities and impeaching of agreements in the running of the school. The altercations put the fates of the over 30,000 students of LAUTECH in dangers for several years.

The news of cession of the university to Oyo State is not what I am about in this piece. It is the shame behind two contiguous states, who share several affinities, not being able to unite to manage a heritage for 30 years. This is indicative of a greater intra-national battles and wars that would be fought within spaces if and when the so-called self-determination clarion calls are heeded by the suzerains of Nigeria.

While congratulating the two states on this amicable resolution of the ownership of LAUTECH, within the Yoruba enclave, people should begin to imagine the war ahead. Between the rest of Yoruba and Egba and Ijebu, who were felt to have appropriated to themselves the chunkiest parts of the Yoruba national cakes since the 1950s, in spite of cocoa revenue that came from the Ekiti/Ondos, there is an envisaged war in an Oduduwa Republic. And so on and so forth. Can the wars be averted?



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