FEATURE ARTICLE

Saturday, June 22, 2019
akinyemia7@gmail.com
Pikesville, Maryland, USA
AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR SEYI MAKINDE OF OYO STATE AND GOVERNOR GBOYEGA OYETOLA OF OSUN STATE

YOUR EXCELLENCIES!

E THE PEOPLE OF OYO AND OSUN STATES OF NIGERIA are embarking on this rescue mission for and on behalf of the current students and Alumni of LAUTECH, Workers and Lecturers of LAUTECH and finally the well-wishers of the 'Noble' State (Osun) and of the Pacesetter (Oyo) State. Absolutely nothing is too much to say or do in our collective attempt to bring a successful closure to the LAUTECH imbroglio. We will not give up on the struggle to save this world class University. No, we won't! It deserves to be saved, having gulped the humongous resources to get to the envious position it now stands. Stoppage of the protracted issue of ownership resulting in the continued 'illnesses' of this University or a call for its collapse can only amount to a colossal waste of time and resources. It is time to reason together as brothers, sons and daughters of Oduduwa. We have a lot to gain from meaningful dialogues than being estranged, as if we are people of different tribes and tongues. God forbid that LAUTECH will ever be referred to as the 'defunct Lautech'! Prevention is better than cure. Let us all come together and rescue LAUTECH now. This rescue mission is real, let us be a part of this History.

The questions which continue to come to mind include:

Why is it being made to look difficult and impossible to save this institution?

Why is it difficult to have a comprehensive listing of the issues at stake?

Is it possible for an institution to be located in one state and be called the name of another state?

Can a modality be worked out for one State to 'let go' of the Institution to the other?

Can a reasonable severance formula not be developed and actualised?

Can a settlement arrangement be made to spread into the future, for as many years as the Institution had been in existence?

Can we invoke the spirit of Oduduwa in proffering a lasting solution?

With God all things are possible

Since inception, there had been high hopes and great enthusiasm. These had brought the University to the enviable position of being acclaimed the Best State University until Oyo State got split into two (Oyo and Osun) and the problem started. An online journal listed the following as the perennial problems of Lautech:

  • LAUTECH a product of State creation leading to a jinxed joint ownership

  • Joint Ownership Resulting in Intrigues, accusations and scorn by the two States

  • Teachers, Students and Workers were left to bear the brunt of the forced coexistence

  • Wanton deterioration of the great LAUTECH over time

  • The brazen abdication of the responsibility of funding of LAUTECH by the co- owners, Oyo and Osun states.

  • Sustainability of Institution based on IGR, a belated decision borne out of necessity.

  • Hike in fees making it impossible for the poor students to continue

Sons and daughters of the great Oduduwa, let us all rise and put an end to the LAUTECH saga. Students are suffering. Workers are crying over deprived remunerations, salaries, and benefits. Lecturers are wasting away because what you have (skills) and do not use, you lose. Infrastructures are decaying for failure to be put to full and continuous use and academic activities and potentials are being wasted. Enough is enough, especially in an era of globalisation.

The issue of LAUTECH and Governor Ajimobi's inability to bring closure (resolve) was one of the five listed major things he failed to do while in office. In retrospect, it must be a thing of regret for him and his Omoluabi (Brother) Governor Aregbesola since this failure may put a big dent on their buoyant eight-year administration. If Oyo state prides herself as a Pacesetter (Asiwaju) and Osun as being Noble (Omoluabi) then what is noble/gentlemanly and pacesetting in leaving a legacy of a dying University behind? The issue has now become a part of History and cannot be swept aside and cannot be put to rest. It will certainly not go away or be brushed aside. The good people of the two states are thus left to clear the big mess while the two key players have now become onlookers. What a pity?

The continued losses of that University due to neglect and wanton abandonment is colossal and must be stalled. Stakeholders must come to the drawing board and craft out a new way forward and bring LAUTECH back to life. It must be resuscitated and it must survive. The matter should not be made to look like it defies all humanly possible solutions. A stitch in time saves nine. Let us all (sons and daughters of Oyo and Osun states) rise up to save LAUTECH and put the ownership issue aside for now. That Institution can and must be rescued. God bless Oyo State and God bless Osun State for resolving the current impasse. It is an investment which should not be allowed to die. The two major players have now checked out and left a bad legacy of a 'jinxed' University for us. 'We the people' of Oyo and Osun states must wake up, reverse it and destroy the myth to become a REALITY. LAUTECH must survive by His grace and mercy.

The onus now rests on the two new Governors (Makinde and Oyetola) to put in some wisdom and put an amicable closure to the inherited protracted confusion. Posterity is our judge and this may just be one of the major achievements of these two newer and younger Governors of the two States. The innocent students, workers and Lecturers will be forever grateful for this kind gesture. Long live LAUTECH and Long Live Oyo and Osun States.

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