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) in Ogbomoso, saying 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 reports coming out of Osun State recently on the LAUTECH issue show that the state was bent on running down the school for no just cause.
According to the statement, “We are appalled by the unhelpful and condemnable statistics that have been reeled out about LAUTECH by the government of Osun State lately. The target of such unfounded statistics is to bring the school to its knees and put the future of thousands of its students in 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 State had taken control of the teaching hospital in Ogbomoso, Osun State had taken ownership of the teaching hospital in Osogbo.
“In effect, whatever Osun State spends on LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, in 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-financed, 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-financed as such. The Secretary to the Osun State Government whom the statement was credited to must have spoken with tongue in cheek just in search of excuses to justify the contempt Osun State has for LAUTECH. We are aware that top universities across the world survived on huge grants from public-spirited individuals, governments and families to attain the status they are now.
“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, 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 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 State 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.