LAUTECH: We are not against Iseyin campus, but don’t remove 33yr old faculty – Ogbomoso indigenes

LAUTECH: Not against Iseyin campus, but don’t remove 33yr old faculty as angry indigenes rain curses on ‘saboteurs’


Thousands of aggrieved Ogbomoso indigenes Monday (May 22) trooped out to express their displeasure over the planned relocation of the faculty of agricultural sciences Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, to the newly founded Iseyin campus of the institution.

This is just as speakers after speakers vented their anger on leaders of the city they described as “saboteurs.”

Plan to relocate the faculty of agricultural sciences is believably afoot according to intels, with information that the whole of the faculty would be affected from one hundred level to postgraduate school, “By the time the move is complete the main campus in Ogbomoso will be dispossessed of the faculty,” a senior lecturer in the university who spoke under condition of anonymity disclosed to recently.

This move is thus seen by many Ogbomoso indigenes as a plan to shortchange the city as well as laying a bad precedence that will adversely affect the institution in the future.

Meanwhile, the protest, which was planned to be taken to the streets was restricted to the auditorium of the Soun Ogunlola Hall, Oja’gbo, following what the organizers, under the banners of Egbe Omo Ogbomoso Parapo Agbaaye, described as pressures and appeals from some “leaders” in the community who felt the protest might send a wrong signal to the governor that Ogbomoso is antagonistic of his government.

They claimed the governor has many goodies for Ogbomoso which the protest might jeopardize.

However, clarification is made at the town hall meeting that Ogbomoso is solidly behind the present administration as exemplified by the massive votes cast for him during the last general elections, emphasizing the protest was only to air their view on a matter that has the potential of adversely affecting their community.

The gathering also cleared the air on the notion that Ogbomoso is anti-Iseyin and opposed to development in the community informing that what they were against is taking an existing faculty (that is 33 years old) from Ogbomoso to Iseyin when an entirely new one can be established in the Oke-Ogun community.

Several speakers hammered on these points and others, each rounding his speech off with an appeal to the state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, to abort the decision and take some of the new faculties proposed to Iseyin campus.

Speaking at the event chairman of Ogbomoso Parapo home zone, Prince Aderemi Olude who represented the national president, underlined the fact that Ogbomoso people have nothing against neither Governor Makinde nor Iseyin people affirming the protest was just to state the popular opinion that the plan rather is anti Ogbomoso.

He poured his anger on those he called saboteurs in Ogbomoso describing them as collaborators in a proposal which ultimately would send Ogbomoso backward.

He fumed, “All those who are against this protest are traitors, they are saboteurs, I declare the land of Ogbomoso would swallow them in the name of Jesus, in the name of Prophet Muhammed, in the name of Orunmila.

Olude further said, “We thank all of you who are not bastards of Ogbomosoland, God will uplift you.”

He insisted, “We are not fighting government. These same saboteurs are now saying we did not take action in time that it is already late, yet they were the ones that refused to facilitate our planned meeting with the governor for dialogue on the matter, we went to them several times.

“We met with some of our leaders to intervene or facilitate our meeting with Governor Makinde on the matter but they did nothing on it; they are not bold enough to discuss something like that with the governor for whatever reason.

“Dr Saka Balogun (a leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state) even said he knew Governor Makinde that if he took decision on a matter he would never rescind it. But I am sure if we confront Governor Makinde with such verdict he would retort ‘am I God?

He said what Balogun claimed in a viral video on Sunday that Justice Afolabi Adeniran, a former attorney general and chief judge of Oyo state was against the protest is not true, disclosing Justice Adeniran supported all along but must have been prevailed upon to recant.

“So, we are not fighting Makinde, we are not against his vision for Oyo state. But our own child or (a child given to us) whom we have nurtured for 33 years should not be taken away from us. We are never afraid in Ogbomoso, they piled pressure on us to scuttle this protest but we maintained our stand. We have not been able to see Makinde. Those who are close to him have not made it easy for us.”

Prince Olude

He now veered off to another germane matter affecting Ogbomoso, the issue of new Soun of Ogbomosoland, whose installation is being delayed, declaring prayerfully and with fire, “May all obstacles to the enthronement of new Soun be removed, if we have Soun on the throne we won’t have to go through such trouble as this, if we have a Soun something like this would not happen, probably these same people are frustrating the installation of new Soun so they can lord it over us.”

A representative of Federation of Ogbomoso Students Union (FOGSU) also maintained students would not take lightly to the move threatening that if it is not resolved students would take to the street “We will shut down the city. If nothing comes out of this gathering it will be wahala. We have Ogbomoso people living in Iseyin likewise Iseyin people are living in Ogbomoso, Makinde should not cause trouble between the two brother towns. Our politicians are saboteurs, if Baba Soun is alive this will not be happening.”

An artisan, Mr. Silas Sangoleke, dropped a line, “Makinde should not be allowed to pierce our eyes with a stick.”

Many others, traders, artisans, transporters who spoke at the programme submitted the plan is anti-Ogbomoso insisting the promised new faculties should be taken to Iseyin or elsewhere.

Rev Olaleye

President of Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum (OCYF) Rev’d Peter Olaleye who read a speech titled, “Why relocation of faculty of agricultural sciences LAUTECH Ogbomoso is undesirable,” also emphasized Ogbomoso is not fighting anyone and that they were not against the university being turned into a multi campus one but that their concern is moving a foundation faculty, which he posited would leave Ogbomoso poorer.

His speech in full, “We are not fighting the government of His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde as erroneously believed by some of our fathers. Rather we are trying to engage the government through this medium since we aren’t able to meet him.
“It’s only to state our views on a matter that affects our community moreover its economy and wellbeing. We will thus be unpatriotic if we fail to state our view on it. Protest is inherent to democracy.

“Let me state clearly that we are not against the university being turned into a multi campus one neither are we opposed to take off of Iseyin campus, never!

“Rather, what we advocate is to start the new faculties being planned in Iseyin or any other place (s). That will afford the new campus to grow in accordance with available facilities.

“But removing a foundation faculty (agricultural sciences) that is 33years old that is on ground already, with several facilities, infrastructure, experimental farms, research farms, donated research centres, buildings etc as nucleus of a satellite campus is what we are opposed to. It will amount to colossal waste of resources, which is avoidable. We have Ghana Building donated to the faculty of agric by Ogbomosos in Ghana, there is the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) outstation donated by FRIN for research, there is a Bee Hall and others which will become moribund if the faculty is moved as envisaged. That is part of the reason we say begin new faculties elsewhere and not disrupt an existing viable one. It is like caring and training your child for 33 years and you now throw him or her away saying government has promised you a new child. Does it make sense?

“In addition, the faculty of agric Ogbomoso is home to over 10,000 persons made up of lecturers, non-teaching staff and students. Taking that number out over time will certainly harm the economy and wellness of Ogbomoso that relies on LAUTECH solely for its economic buoyancy. Hostel/house owners, transporters, traders, contractors, hoteliers and so on will experience humongous economic losses. We are talking of removing 10,000 people from a population! Look at millions in salaries and allowances for students’ upkeep these 10,000 people pump into Ogbomoso monthly. Only an unpatriotic person will ask that we do not talk.

“This is not a fight against the administration of Gov Makinde but a medium to present reasons why the proposal is undesirable. Governor Makinde has been good to Ogbomoso and that’s why we voted en masse for him in the last election. But as a democrat he won’t oppose to this agitation. He also protested in PDP when his party acted autocratically in the choice of presidential candidate.

“It is risky moving a viable faculty believing new ones will come. This same government promised at its inception that at least a flyover will be built in Ogbomoso before its first tenure ends, the first tenure has ended, it didn’t fulfill the promise perhaps due to other competing matters. Our fathers say a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. That’s why we cannot rely on a promise of new faculties while what is already available is taken away. The parable of a 33years old trained child comes to mind here again. Begin new faculty (ies) elsewhere.

“Moreover, it is going to be a dangerous precedence. In future another governor will come and say because the people of this community voted for me l dash them this faculty from LAUTECH. We don’t want the institution to turn into a prize for political patronage. So, the right thing is to begin new faculties or universities elsewhere. After all the neighboring Ogun state has about three autonomous universities. Why not adopt that format. Osun State University some are referring to started as a multi-campus institution but LAUTECH took off as a mono-campus university.

“That LAUTECH continues to enjoy good rating as best state university and indeed one of the best in the country is down to its compact nature and the contribution by this same faculty of agric. Which multi campus university ever enjoys such sound rating?

“Family dislocations. Staff who had settled in Ogbomoso, built houses, have their children in schools here and you now force them elsewhere separating the families when it can be avoided is condemnable. Students too, l know of a family whose four children are in agric at LAUTECH; they live with their parents and are not allowed to rent hostel rooms just to cut costs, if you now move them to Iseyin, you can imagine the inconveniences.

“We reiterate we are not opposed to development in Iseyin and we are not fighting Gov Makinde over the issue what we are against is what will harm our community. That is what patriotism demands. We are patriotic sons and daughters of Ogbomoso. Whoever opposes us is unpatriotic.

“We don’t believe rescinding the decision (relocating faculty of agric) is late, the governor has demonstrated in the past he is a listening father. Also, we are not opposed to making LAUTECH multi campus if that is what the governor wants after the university had existed as mono campus for 33 years (under over 10 governors, military and civilian), what we stand against is slicing a viable faculty off which will amount to waste of resources and inflict other collateral damages when new ones can be begun elsewhere or new universities established elsewhere.

“The above forms the crux of this protest.”

Mr. James Obasa, an ex-student of LAUTECH, in another prepared address echoed similar sentiment. Titled, “Peaceful protest on establishment of new faculty in Iseyin and not relocating of 33years old faculty of Agriculture LAUTECH Ogbomoso,” he stated, “The entire indigenes of Ogbomosoland (masses, mekunnu) appreciate the effort of Governor Seyi Makinde on growth and development of Ogbomoso and Oyo State at large.”

Comrade Obasa

He continued, “The entire indigenes of Ogbomoso land are appealing to Governor Seyi Makinde to establish a new Faculty in Iseyin campus and not to relocate the 33year-old Faculty of Agriculture LAUTECH Ogbomoso.”

Adducing reasons why the move is undesirable, he noted, “Ogbomoso is the second largest city in Oyo State with large number of downtrodden who are majorly artisans, small scale business owners and have built their businesses round the entire population of LAUTECH, therefore any reduction in the population of the University will translate into hardship that will result from collapse of their businesses.

“Ogbomoso indigenes have invested greatly in the growth and development of Faculty of Agriculture LAUTECH with donations of infrastructural facilities such as buildings, road construction, ICT facilities, irrigation facilities, establishment of Forest Research Institute outstation etc which have over years served as source of motivation for staff and students. Students had earlier staged a peaceful protest appealing to Governor Seyi Makinde to establish new Faculty in Iseyin.”

He emphasized that starting a new faculty in Iseyin is the best option “in the interest of everlasting peace, harmony and tranquility that have been existing between Ogbomoso and Iseyin. Such new faculty could be education, law, social sciences, it could also be LAUTECH Institute of Agricultural Research and Training as the case of IAR&T and OAU Ife with use of existing structures in Iseyin.

“Ogbomoso is the second largest city in Oyo State more additional developmental projects should be brought in to the ancient town and not relocating the existing ones.

“Governor Seyi Makinde runs a populist government and believes in people and not politicians. The voice of the people in Ogbomoso must be heard, the proposed relocation will bring unbearable hardship to indigenes of Ogbomoso, students and staff of the faculty who have tailored their ways of life and their family members to Ogbomoso environment. We don’t want hardship from government policy with present inflation.”

He went ahead to state each zone of Oyo state boasts one or more higher institutions suggesting therefore that rather than shortchanging Ogbomoso by splitting LAUTECH, additional institutions should be established in these zones.

Hear him, “There are five geographical zones in Oyo state namely; Ibadan areas (zone I), Oke Ogun areas (zone II), Ogbomoso areas (zone III), Oyo areas (zone IV) and Ibarapa areas (zone V). Each zone has her own tertiary institution(s): Oke Ogun (Polytechnic); Ibadan (Polytechnic, School of Nursing and Midwifery Eleyele, The Technical University, College of Hygiene and Health Technology), Ogbomoso (Ladoke Akintola University of Technology), Ibarapa (Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic Eruwa, Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate); Oyo (Emmanuel Alayande University of Education.”

He opined that rather than slicing from the only one in Ogbomoso, “additional institutions can be established in each zone and not relocating/moving of one institution from one zone to the other in the interest of justice and peace”

Hon Oyeniyi

Chairman of Ogbomoso South local government Hon Timothy Oyeniyi who breezed in along with vice chairperson of Ogbomoso North local government, Hon Mrs Adija Aremu, reacting expressed surprise at the resolve of the people admitting ‘”You have proved you are powerful than we are. We will communicate your resolve to the governor.”

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