An Oyo State-based socio-political organisation, the Oyo Kajola Group (OKG), has weighed in on the controversy between Oyo and Osun States over the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, saying that the needless drama being orchestrated by the government of Osun State was unhelpful and condemnable.
The OKG, in a statement by its media coordinator, Adebayo Ayandele, said that reports coming out of Osun State in recent weeks on the LAUTECH issue show that Osun was bent on running down the school for no just cause.
The statement read: “We are appalled by the unhelpful and condemnable statistics that have been reeled out about LAUTECH by the government of Osun State of late. The target of such unfounded statistics is to bring the school to its knees and bring the future of thousands of its students into jeopardy, a situation akin to the Biblical story of two women fighting over a child.
“Of course, the real mother of the child would not allow harm come the way of the child, though the impostor won’t mind if the child got killed to prove a point. In this case, Oyo State, being the real mother of the baby [LAUTECH], should take firm decisions to save the school from impending crisis.
“In recent weeks, we have heard all manners of half-truths and unfounded stories about payments made to LAUTECH by the co-owners. Osun State, in particular, had released statements to the effect that it has been paying far more than Oyo State in recent years.
“Our findings, however, indicate that Osun State mixed facts with fiction in the statement it released recently. We have since confirmed that the two owner states of LAUTECH have since separately taken ownership of the two Teaching Hospitals. While Oyo had taken control of the Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso, Osun had taken ownership of the Teaching Hospital in Osogbo.
“In effect, whatever Osun State spends on LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo is its responsibility and should not be mentioned as part of expenses meant for LAUTECH as an institution.
“We also read with surprise a claim by Osun State to the effect that LAUTECH should by now be self-financing, since according to that statement, the Osun State University established well after LAUTECH has allegedly become financially independent.
“Let us place on record here that no university around the world can be self-financing as such. The Secretary to the Osun State whom the statement was credited to must have spoken tongue in cheek just in search of excuses to justify the contempt Osun has for LAUTECH. We are aware that top universities across the globe survived on huge grants from public-spirited individuals, governments and families to attain the status they now parade.
“LAUTECH is a school to be nurtured and we must bear in mind that education is not basically a profit and loss venture. Its social impact is unquantifiable and as such government subsidies are always of good benefit.
“We want to use this medium to urge the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, to take immediate steps to save LAUTECH from the trap of death, which Osun State has set for it.
“Like the Oyo State Governor himself has said, LAUTECH is dear to Oyo State and to the people of Ogbomoso. Since Osun State has shown it is only out to bleed the school to death, Oyo should not hesitate to take up the responsibility of paying the fees needed to run the school, while the legal issues around ownership are practically sorted.
“Governor Makinde must take every step to ensure that LAUTECH is not plunged into academic chaos once again.
“But Osun State has shown enough disdain for the progress of LAUTECH and its determination to cripple the school must be condemned and resisted by all well-meaning Nigerians.”