LAUTECH: ‘This is heartless’ – staff, students lament as order for relocation to Iseyin is given
“Yes, the government and those who misled government to relocate us to Iseyin are having it their way but we want to say it loud and clear it is heartless.” That is the singsong in the faculty of agricultural sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo state.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com reported that the over 33 year-old faculty of agricultural sciences LAUTECH is to be moved to Iseyin in Oke-Ogun axis of the state in line “with a promise” made by Governor Seyi Makinde to the people of the zone.
Students, lecturers, parents and guardians as well as old students in many fora appealed to the governor to reconsider the decision giving various reasons while it’s not ideal but the government stuck to its gun, with the governor insisting it is a “promise that must be fulfilled.”
The argument of many however is, “How do you rob a section to pay another section when an entirely new arrangement can be made?”
They noted “an institute, an entirely new programme or duplication of the same faculty can be put up in Iseyin rather than phasing it out in the permanent site completely.”
Some even alleged the Governor of “having an axe to grind with Ogbomoso,” positing that his “insistence on doing it his way without listening to others’ opinions is suspicious.”
ogbomosoinsightonline.com learnt the Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olatunde Rom Kalilu, at the instance of the Provost of the College of Agriculture, Iseyin campus, Professor Jacob Gbemiga Adewale, in a meeting with the staff of the faculty Wednesday had given the directive that the 200 level students and the staff, academic and non-academic, should proceed to resume the second semester of the current academic session at Iseyin.
It is learnt this has generated “wholesome sadness” in the faculty as those concerned especially students are in sorrowful lamentations.
A student in a voice note bewailed the directive saying it is bereft of consideration and human feeling.
The “wailing” girl who spoke in Yoruba language did not however give her name said a directive like that in this period of economic and security downturn did not take into consideration their welfare and condition.
She complained bitterly many of the students of the faculty just paid for house rent (for a year) and had not lived therein for more than one to three months adding that their parents did not know of their relocation to Iseyin.
“To fund our relocation will be an insurmountable task because of lack of fund. We students also did not know about this journey, we are begging government to give us more time to plan and prepare for the relocation because we are short of fund or wherewithal to resettle in another town.
“Many of us ourselves fund our education, some of us have set up businesses to see to this, to cater for ourselves, to now go elsewhere will impose difficulty and harm us educationally, morally and financially. We beg them to be merciful towards us and our parents because we don’t have money to resettle in another town. We will pay for new accommodation in Iseyin, we will pay for vehicle to transport our luggage to Iseyin as well, we will have to pay tuition, we will buy books, this is killing.
“Many did not write the last exams due to non-payment of school fees, to now ask such to suddenly relocate is heartless. Some have people they live with free here, it will be hard to now look for fund to rent houses in Iseyin within two weeks. Some have ‘carry overs’ and will now have to travel down from Iseyin to resit for the papers in Ogbomoso. We are begging government to rescind this decision.”
Similarly, a lecturer of the faculty sent in this piece, “The VC has called us to a meeting and said the assumption of duty at Iseyin should commence Thursday, October 5 . This action is autocratic and is wickedness.
“Nobody is talking about the inconveniences, about our welfare and security. There is no enough house to accommodate students not to talk of staff in this insecurity period. Do they want us to sleep in the streets in this period of insecurity? Let me tell you, there is a security staffer who was asked to move to Iseyin since four months ago, up to this moment he is yet to secure accommodation.
“Also, considering the current economic challenge, our salary is not enough to take care of our financial responsibilities. We have all settled down here, built houses, we have our families here, children attending schools here – nursery to secondary, and managing with the token we call salary. Shuttling between Ogbomoso and Iseyin now is additional expenses not to talk of risk involved. We learned travelling to Iseyin from Ogbomoso to and fro will gulp nothing less than N8, 000 (eight thousand naira).”
He now posited, “If a fresh programme is considered for Iseyin, whosoever that is taking up job will plan that accordingly. Both students and staff are sad with this arrangement. Those that sold the proposal to government are selfish.”
Fingering the Provost, Professor Adewale, in the saga, the angry staffer said, “The so-called Provost denied us necessary information and failed to carry the staff members along throughout.”
Many alleged Adewale, an Ibadan man, of being the brain behind the movement “for selfish reasons.”
Another lecturer also under condition of anonymity wondered why the governor refused to listen to them or hear their opinion too saying “it is unlike His Excellency.”
He further stated, “It is a pity that the governor can’t send representatives to hear our side, both staff and students are crying, not to talk about the Ogbomoso people. The governor has succeeded to rob Ogbomoso to pay Iseyin. It is unpalatable history being written by him and bad precedence being laid. It is painful. As I write this, I am crying.”
He reiterated the best option is to start a new programme at Iseyin “whether an institute of agriculture or a new faculty,” recalling that when The Polytechnic Ibadan witnessed similar scenario in the past, “the courses were duplicated in other campuses at other towns, it wasn’t a situation of phasing out a department or what have you in the permanent site. That is the best option.”
The distraught lecturer also expressed surprise that community leaders have refused to make their stand known in the situation, “How can such things be happening and leaders in the community will not say anything? It is bad and indicting. Is it fear or what?
“We know Ogbomoso people to be courageous but in this situation the silence is too ominous. Why will they rob your town of something significant as that and you will keep quiet or see nothing wrong in it? Will leaders in other towns be so complacent in similar situation? It is inexplicable.”