When the military announced the establishment of then Oyo state University at Ogbomoso, it was jubilations in the town. Although tough contenders like Oyo, Ilesa and Osogbo believed they had superior qualifications over and above Ogbomoso, the news was taken its stride and everyone moved on. Of recent, ASUU national had to wade into the funding crisis in the institution, calling the attention of all stakeholders to the impending backlash of the combined neglect of the 2 states.
There are a few options . Meanwhile, we recall that Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma started as Bendel State University comprising now Edo and Delta. On creation of the latter, assets and liabilities were shared and Delta went ahead to establish her own. Same for the Ondo with now Ekiti and Ondo
Our property ordinarily attracts discounted commitment from individual stakeholder because a jointly owned asset belongs to no one in particular and one may wait for the other to take the lead in matters of responsibility
Note that when Oyo state will always plead lack of funds but it went ahead to muster good will and funds and personnel to set up the Technical University , at Ibadan. If LAUTECH had been in Ibadan, would the governor had still gone ahead to set up the Tech University in same city ??
At present, and in spite of all pretences, the 2 states see LAUTECH as an irritant and a distraction. But this is avoidable
- Federal take over-This will take extra superior argument for it to pass as no state in thye country has 2 federal Universities. Already, the centre has enough load on its head and cannot afford more. To embrace a curious departure from the extant policy of 1 state 1 Fed Univ is at present, unthinkable
- Odu a investment should take over. This sounds sweet but state components like Ondo and Ogun may kick, as they will not see why either Osun or Oyo should not embrace their fresponsibility. Remember that Ondo and Ogun has 2 Universities each
- Osun to take over. In the politics of internally generated revenue Osun distantly trails Oyo . Also the load of investment in infrastructure by the then Gov. Alao Akala, this does not sound reasonable. Relocating and reconstructing the physical facilities all over again in Osun runs again all logic, sense and reason . The only physical presence that confers a figment of ownership on Osun is the Teaching hospital at Osogbo. This can be relocated with ease. Some years ago, the then governor put up a mighty edifice for the purpose of accommodating this same unit of the institution at Ogbomoso. Therefore Osun is not a candidate for sustained ownership
- Oyo to take over. Now, by name and location, LAUTECH effectively belongs to Oyo state. Chief Ladoke Akintola and Ogbomoso town are both from Oyo state and by the quantum of investment into the main campus, the state government should guide her investment jealously. For ease of administration, Oyo state should take over LAUTECH as the sole proprietor with immediate effect . It can conveniently be in same league as Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun and Rivers among others who are managing 2 Universities in spite of dwindling resources
Osun state should stop pretending and focus her resources on the state University at Osogbo.. By their present body language, the states live in scripted denial and insincerity capable of ruining careers of workers and truncating future of the students . Therefore all outstanding issues should be settled out of court . It is doubtful if other similar states went to court before settling the ownership of common institutions. Just as an aside——would this crisis occur if the University has been sited ab initio, in the present Osun state?
Ownership of a University is not a judicial matter, it is political . Therefore the 2 governors can be invited by their political principal, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and any other stakeholder like the NUC settle any other outstanding issue pick up their lives from there.
Modalities on staffing can be worked. Lecturers are hired and retained based on their individual worth. The moment an academic’s employment is solely dependent on the state of origin, such a University is , effectively, not one. Assets and liabilities should be share on agreed terms. It will be recalled that some months ago, cases of violence were reported against Osun indigenes by their Oyo counterparts . This cannot edify and dignify the academia
Yorubas say ‘when a property is pronounced as yours and you deny ownership by disappearing and going on a temporary journey, on your arrival it still remains yours’. So why not claim your property and learn to, live with it? Allowing LAUTECH to serve as an encumbrance to the 2 states will not help their future particularly, when other states in similar circumstance have resolved their issues without ASUU s intervention.
Let Oyo be the sole owner of LAUTECH. So it was and so shall it be. This is however, without prejudice to legal resolutions
Prof. Dele Fapohunda is the Dean, School of Science and Technology,
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