Friday, October 7

LAUTECH: WE ‘LL NOT LET GO OUR JOINT PROPERTY – OSUN ASSEMBLY

The Chairman, House Committee on Education, Folorunsho Bamisayemi made the declaration on Wednesday at a press conference to address the issues of the joint ownership crisis of LAUTECH.

The Assembly, which blamed the people of Ogbomosho Community, the host town of the university for fuelling the crisis, said, “we honestly want to believe that the unconscionable attempt to take over the ownership of LAUTECH by every means possible is being orchestrated by only the Ogbomoso Community which erroneously think that it owns the college but not the entire good people of the two state”.

Recalling that the crisis was started by the past administration in Oyo State under Adebayo Alao-Akala, an indigene of Ogbomosho in 2010, he said, the attempt was challenged in court and the Supreme Court in a judgment delivered on 26th of March, 2012 declared that the university was and would always be jointly owned by Oyo and Osun states.

According to him, it would therefore be illegal and become a contempt of court for Oyo state alone to unilaterally lay claim to sole ownership of the institution without the concurrence of Osun as a joint partner.

He said the sustainance of hostility after the government of Oyo has failed in court and tied it to Osun’s inability to meet its obligations due to the economic crisis was inhuman, especially, when Oyo has also been defaulting from meeting its financial obligations to the institution.

“Osun has fully, consistently and timeously met her obligations to LAUTECH over the last 25 years out of the 25 years of the university’s existence. Inability to pay over the last one year was due to national economic problem which equally affects Oyo State.

“In 2010 when the University needed the partners (Osun and Oyo) to inject N900 million each for the payment of monetization and personal allowances of workers, it was only Osun that paid her own share of it, while Oyo has not paid her own share till date.

“The statue setting up the University recognises only one Teaching Hospital and situates it in Osogbo. Oyo State has consistently refused to contribute a Kobo to the sustenance of this Teaching Hospital since the Alao-Akala government set up the illegal Teaching Hospital at Ogbomoso and Osun singularly maintains this facility with a monthly N200 Million.

“The State of Osun has invested close to N2 Billion on Capital projects in the Teaching Hospital while Oyo State was busy investing in a parallel, but illegal  Teaching Hospital unknown to the law that established the University.

“It is obscene and perfidious, effort  by Ogbomoso Community to unilaterally take over LAUTECH and push Osun State out of the joint ownership after investing equally in the project for almost 26  years”, Bamisayemi said.

Noting that the Osun government has kept quiet in the spirit of brotherliness and pan Yoruba nationalism, despite being treated by Oyo government as a junior partner in a joint ownership where the same amount of subvention is being contributed by the two states for the past 26 years, he said such investment would not be allowed to go into extinction.

He also added that there were some infractions which ordinarily the Osun government should have protested but accepted calmly in the spirit of one Yoruba nation and regional integration.

“Seven and a half faculties of the university are located in Ogbomoso while only a quarter (some say half) of a faculty is located in Osogbo, State of Osun. In spite of this obvious lopsidedness we still contribute equal amount as partners and joint owners.

“The postgraduate school, the pre-degree centre, Part-time programme and centre for distance learning are all sited in Ogbomoso. The staff ratio is 1100 for Oyo state to 610 for Osun state. 16 TETFUND need assessment projects are in Ogbomoso campus with none in Osogbo”, he emphasised.

Also speaking, the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Akintunde Adegboye said, the people of Ogbomoso and their supporters in Oyo state government were obviously mistaking the maturity of Osun government for weakness and foolishness, saying, “they will soon realise that it is not so”.

He said the state Assembly was not folding its arms on the joint ownership tussle but decided to tarry on the matter in line with the spirit of brotherliness and Omoluabi ethos, saying, Osun would not let go the joint property.

He appealed to the Soun Ogbomosho and traditional rulers in Yorubaland to intervene and call those fanning the ember of discord into order.

The immediate past Attorney-General of Osun, Barrister Wale Afolabi who was part of the briefing, said any action taking by the Oyo government to unilaterally arrogate the ownership of LAUTECH to itself was null and void in the face of the law in line with the Supreme Court judgement on the matter.

He said, for any of the two states to take up the sole ownership of the institution, it must be with concurrence of the other state.

Also, the former Attorney-General under Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration in Osun, Mr Niyi Owolade, said, though there was a Memorandum of Understanding between Oyo and Osun on the splitting of LAUTECH, but with conditions which Oyo government has not met and could not meet.

Part of the conditions he said, was the fact that if there was going to be any division, Osun must be paid its share of the university within 30 days and moratorium of ten years must be given for the sake of students and staff of the institution.

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