LAUTECH agric faculty relocation: Students shun Iseyin campus, parley with govt
The much expected commencement of academic activities at the Iseyin campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo state, suffered a major setback Monday, as a large number of the students rather stormed the state capital, Ibadan, to parley with the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, and other stakeholders on why the order for relocation to Iseyin needed to be reversed.
Some other stakeholders they met with are members of Oyo State House House of Assembly and the Oyo state Director of the Department of State Security (DSS).
Though the governor was not available, his representatives met with the students’ leaders.
One of the nine students allowed to meet with the governor’s representatives who however pleaded his name is not mentioned, told ogbomosoinsightonline.com that they sat down with the government’s team whom they presented their grievances and made pleas to.
“Yes, about one hundred of us traveled to Ibadan to meet with the state governor but he was not around and so we met with the representatives of the governor including maybe his executive assistant on education and others. I am not sure of their identities as we were not allowed to go in with phones and we were not with writing materials,” the student leader said.
“We stated our reasons it’s undesirable that we relocate to Iseyin. Among others we stated that our admission letters bore LAUTECH Ogbomoso and not LAUTECH Iseyin. We explained that one of the reasons for choice of university is location, that had we been told from the start that it would be at Iseyin, many of us wouldn’t have chosen LAUTECH.
“We also hammered on financial implications of relocating to Iseyin at this material time of economic hardship, many of us have paid for hotel accommodation some for four years, how do we recoup our money or get another money to start looking for new accommodations at Iseyin which we learnt is also acutely short of residential buildings?
“In addition, we talked of security situation in Iseyin and Oke-Ogun generally that Iseyin is not safe for students and lecturers, it is insensitivity to expose us to such danger. Those behind the relocation are wicked. Moreover, the facilities at the Iseyin campus are inadequate, there is no way we will receive the best of education with such facilities, it is grossly inadequate to take over 1500 students. We also advised new programmes should be started there instead of existing ones, with that, the facilities, the accommodations available and so will grow pari-passu. Our population is too large for Iseyin.
“We told the team all these and others, we pleaded with them and they promised to relay our request to the governor, our father, which simply is to let us remain in Ogbomoso, that has become a zone of comfort for us. They confessed the governor was not properly briefed and they commended us we were not violent. We are confident the governor will not disappoint us. We plead with His Excellency not to allow Professor Adewale tarnish his good record. Governor Makinde is a father, don’t allow Prof Adewale endanger our lives.”
Another student representative who also spoke on condition of anonymity informed that the DSS officers reasoned along with them. “Based on security report from Iseyin it is inadvisable to move students there,” the DSS reportedly averred.
The students also visited the House of Assembly where they met with the honourable members “and they promised to intervene too,” just as they called on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ibadan Network Centre, to air their opposition to the relocation order.
Informed some of their colleagues were at Iseyin Monday to receive lectures according to a phone interview by a popular radio station in Ibadan, the student leader alleged, “It was arranged. We learnt they rented people from the host community to sit for lectures to let it appear we had resumed at Iseyin. It is a charade. Security agents should investigate this. It is despicable that professors who should properly guide government are the ones perpetrating deceit at this level. I don’t know for what reason.”
Recall the matter of the establishment of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources, a satellite campus of LAUTECH at Iseyin, has been generating controversies. 200 level students of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences were ordered to resume at the new campus but this is being stoutly resisted by the students who claimed they would be shortchanged.