LAUTECH: Students drag Makinde to court over faculty of agric’s relocation to Iseyin
200 level students of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo state and their parents have dragged the Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, to court over the relocation of the faculty to the newly established Iseyin campus, where the 200 level students have been ordered to proceed to for the second semester of the ongoing academic session.
The suit marked HOG/34/2023 filed at an Oyo State High Court in Ogbomoso has as plaintiffs Akintayo Abdulqoyuum Ajibola, Onwi Bassey Edet, Ezekiel Gbadegesin Ogunmola and Prince Aderemi Olude for themselves and on behalf of other students and parents of the 200 level students of the faculty, is seeking an order of the court restraining the governor and his agents from going ahead with the plan.
As a consequence, they are seeking the determination of the court on “whether Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso Law, 2020 (As Amended) permits the movement of all the already established Faculty/Departments and/or courses to a new place/campus outside the main campus.”
They are also seeking the court’s determination on “whether moving of all the already established courses from the Faculty of Agricultural Science and Renewable Natural Resources from the main campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso to Iseyin Campus or any other campuses outside the main campus is not in contravention of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso Law, 2020 (As Amended).”
And whether the relocation is not “a contravention of the directive of the National University Commission in a correspondence dated 14th March, 2022 with reference number NUC/AP/SO8. VOL 1/78 directed to the University.”
Apart from the governor, other defendants listed in the suit are the Oyo state’s commissioner for education, the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Acting Vice Chancellor and the Provost Iseyin campus.
The claimants are seeking three reliefs, including “an order of the court directing the Respondents whether by themselves, their agents, servants or anybody under their authority to return all the already established courses moved from Faculty of Agricultural Science and Renewable Natural Resources of the main campus of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso to Iseyin Campus back to the main campus forthwith.”
Also, they are praying the court for an order “directing the Respondents whether by themselves, their agents, servants or anybody under their authority to recall back the movement of all 200 level students as directed in the letter dated 19th October, 2023 signed by the Registrar of the 3 Defendant/Respondent on the authority of the 4 Defendant/Respondent from Iseyin Campus back to the main campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.”
They want “an order of injunction restraining the Respondents, their agents, servants or anybody under their authority from moving all the already established courses from the Faculty of Agricultural Science and Renewable Natural Resources of the main campus of the Ladoke Akintola University Of Technology, Ogbomoso to Iseyin campus or any other campuses outside the main campus.”
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalls that the plan to relocate the 33-year old faculty of agriculture to Iseyin has been generating crises with the students resisting the plan over many reasons even as they have refused to comply as should be expected two weeks after commencement of the second semester. Parents as well have protested and appealed to the state government to rescind the decision.
A student, Kayode Adefila recently told ogbomosoinsightonline.com, “I went to Iseyin but what I discovered is not favourable. The school is far from the town, it is in the outskirt. The Iseyin community is not prepared for the institution. There is no accommodation even in the town centre. The facilities at the campus are obviously inadequate, no laboratory, no experimental farms, nothing.”
Another student who however spoke on condition of anonymity stated, “Government just wants to expose us to danger, and derail our academic pursuit. The plan is insensitive.”
Also, a parent, who gave his name simply as Alhaji Kamoru, said, “I paid for my child’s accommodation three months ago, I paid a rent of N100, 000 for a year. Now, I had gone to Iseyin to find out the situation of things, what we came back with is perplexing. Accommodation at Iseyin we discovered ranged from between N120, 000 and N180, 000. And these are mostly mud houses very far from the campus thus students will spend a fortune daily to get to school. Where is the money in the face of the current economic hardship!
“Aside that, many landlords want to take the rent to complete their building promising if we pay they will quickly complete the housing project. So, they want to take money from us and start looking for way to complete the building. During that time where will the students live? This arrangement of moving students to Iseyin cannot work. It is ill-thought. In Ogbomoso, many students squat and siblings live together thereby cutting costs. It cannot just work, the governor should have a rethink.”
Another student submitted, “Many of us are even considering withdrawing from the school. We cannot cope with the harsh reality of relocating to Iseyin. They have not put us into consideration. There is also the problem of insecurity. Some of us reported they narrowly escaped from suspected kidnappers on the way. It is an open secret that Iseyin and all Oke-Ogun zone are in the grips of kidnappers, why expose us to such danger? Many have said they will rather withdraw and write UTME again and choose other universities.”
Mr. Adekambi Kehinde, also a parent fumed, “Iseyin cannot accommodate such number of students, 1, 533 students. Even LAUTECH when it started had only about 430 students. It is archaic to move students from one place to another in that manner when there are several alternatives. We learnt the original plan was to start new programmes at the Iseyin campus.
“Programmes like forestry, aquaculture, renewable natural resources and so on are not presently available in the faculty of agriculture in Ogbomoso and so new students should have been admitted as pioneers for these new courses and new lecturers employed or any of the present lecturers willing to go there be allowed to go there. Or as they are now saying, begin an institute of agricultural research and training or livestock research there.”
A don in the faculty who spoke anonymously also appealed, “The governor needs to intervene. Two weeks have passed now, wasted, without students being taught because they have refused to go to Iseyin. If lecturers, students and parents cannot be convinced or cajoled to move to Iseyin then something fundamentally is wrong with the implementation.
“How will lecturers go there when there is no accommodation? Many of us teach 200 level students and other levels, so, how convenient will it be for us to teach at two campuses 76kms apart? It is like frittering away resources, and endangering us through constant travelings and being exposed to risk of kidnapping. We have investments here, I mean farming, experimental farms, we have built houses in Ogbomoso, and so, a lot of things will be adversely affected. It is ill-conceived. For goodness sake the plan should be aborted. They should allow new programmes to commence at Iseyin and facilities both within and without the campus will grow gradually, at commensurate pace. New lecturers will be recruited there. The governor should not allow his name to be dragged in infamy.”