Image caption: Governor Seyi Makinde
LAUTECH agric faculty: Students hail Makinde over alleged move to halt relocation to Iseyin
If feelers from the faculty of agricultural sciences Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo state, is anything to go by, then, light is already shining at the end of the tunnel as far as the unwillingness of the students of the faculty to continue their studies at the the newly established Iseyin campus of the institution is concerned.
Recall the plan to relocate the faculty to Iseyin campus renamed College of Renewable Natural Resources to the Oke-Ogun town has generated a lot of controversies with students, academic and non-academic staff as well as the people of Ogbomoso frowning at the proposal.
While people of the host community see it as a proposal meant to shortchange them economically the students as well as their teachers see it as a calculated attempt to cause them untold hardship believably orchestrated by “some unscrupulous people borne by selfish agenda.”
The people of Ogbomoso under the banner of Ogbomoso Parapo Worldwide and Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum (OCYF) staged a protest in May to appeal to the Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to shelve the idea citing various reasons.
The students of the faculty also on several occasions took to the streets to express their disapproval of the plan begging the governor to “reconsider.”
“The relocation of a foundation faculty as agriculture in the institution will cause a lot of harms, it is not desirable, it is ill-advised,” a member of staff also told ogbomosoinsighton;line.com in June.
He cited many partnership programmes, collaborations, facilities and others that will be lost if the plan succeeds. “It will set the university backward,” the lecturer who however spoke on condition of anonymity said.
Meanwhile, the Iseyin campus was commissioned recently with “a directive” for the 200 level students to resume the second semester of the ongoing academic session there.
“This is heart wrenching, it is disheartening,” many students have been lamenting, with intense appeals to the governor to rescind the decision.
However, a visit to the faculty Tuesday indicated ray of hope beaming as some students spoken with informed “there are signals that new programmes will instead be started at Iseyin.”
A student leader, who prefers his name is not mentioned, submitted, “We are not sure yet but news is filtering in that His Excellency is considering our pleas. We are not against an institution in Iseyin, not at all, but we were admitted as students in Ogbomoso, we should be allowed to finish in Ogbomoso.”
Continuing he remarked, “The faculty of agriculture is well entrenched in Ogbomoso, imagine it is thirty-three years old going to thirty-four, there is adequate land, there are plenty facilities that cannot be removed to Iseyin just like that, if we go to Iseyin, students will be at the receiving end. In terms of teaching facilities, practical farms and so on we will be shortchanged.
“There are also the issues of security and financial implications. Only today we read in the news how people died, with many victims, in Iwere-Ile near Iseyin when herdsmen attacked villagers and security agents. There have been cases of kidnapping for ransom, killings and so on.
“We don’t want to be exposed to such risks. Moreover, it is breach of contract, we were admitted as students in Ogbomoso to spend five years. If another town was stated many would not have chosen to come to LAUTECH, and they are now saying we should be herded to Iseyin. Is it because we are powerless?”
Further investigations indicate new agricultural programmes as originally envisaged along with an agriculture institute – Institute of Agricultural Research & Training – are presently being considered.
“The original plan was to have a new agricultural programme such as College of Renewable Natural Resources that we do not have at the permanent site at Iseyin. But suddenly, this was hijacked by desperate individuals propelled by inordinate ambition to be Vice Chancellors who started to manipulate things to suit their selfish goals,” a teaching staffer told ogbomosoinsightonline.com.
Another student, who gave his name as Kehinde Adekunle, enthused in the presence of other students in the faculty, “We thank our father, Governor Seyi Makinde, he is a listening father, we learned he is being properly briefed presently on the matter. He made a promise to the Iseyin people to give them an institution but it was not cast in stone that students of the faculty of agriculture would be moved there.
“Joy is returning to our heart from what we are hearing. The ambition of a few individuals should not be allowed to truncate the peace and well being of others. We pray God will make the governor record greater successes as he pilots the affairs of the state. He has etched his name in gold already, we beg him, he should let us be.”