By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
After prolonged verbal war, Oyo and Osun state government have agreed to continue with the joint ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi dropped this hint in Ibadan while reading a communique issued at the end of a meeting attended by Governor Ajimobi and his Osun State counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola towards finding a lasting solution to the crisis between the two states over the ownership of LAUTECH.
According to Governor Ajimobi, “the meeting regrets the current challenges of funding and management confronting the institution and restates commitment to moving the institution forward”.
“In view of the historical affinity and long relationship between the two states of Oyo and Osun, the meeting resolves to rededicate all efforts towards the development of mutually beneficial goals that will further cement the bond of friendship and brotherhood between them. As brothers, sisters and family members of the same Yoruba ancestry, the meeting agreed that this should be a time of consolidation between the states rather than a time of fragmentation” he said.
The governor added that “consequently, the meeting agreed to an irrevocable commitment to joint ownership of Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, in accordance with the laws setting up the institution.”
He stressed that both states have “agreed that comprehensive restructuring was inevitable in order to achieve national, regional and global reckoning by the institution, while he cautioned residents of the two states and other stakeholders to eschew any form of violence”.
Speaking further, he announced the setting up of a visitation panel headed by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), with other members as Hon Rasheed Afolabi, Prof. Grace Akinola and Prof. Sola Fajana,(representing Osun State) while Dr. Tunji Olaopa, Prof. Ayo Salami, Mr. Ayo Raji, and Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Aderonke Makanjuola (Secretary) as representatives of Oyo state as a follow-up to the meeting.
Governor Ajimobi said the panel is to be saddled with the reviewing the current terms of engagement between the two owner states with a view to consolidating the joint ownership, as well as to conduct an audit into the institution’s sources and application of funds as well as to propose strategies for the overall improvement in the quality of education and service delivery in the institution.
He then urged LAUTECH academic staff members currently on industrial action to resume academic activities while the owner states sought for amicable and sustainable solutions to the lingering crisis that had pitted indigenes of both states against one another.
“We agreed on the necessity for a comprehensive restructuring of the institution to ensure fair and effective development and distribution of academic resources, physical structures and assets of the university across the two states. This is in order to achieve national, regional and global reckoning. We appeal to the academic staff who are currently on industrial action to resume academic activities while amicable solutions are being worked out to sort their grievances.
“We enjoin all residents of the two states, as well as other stakeholders, including students, teachers and workers to go about their lawful duties and resist any temptation to take the laws into their hands. The meeting warned that anyone or group that does otherwise will face the full wrath of the law.”