Battle over LAUTECH agric faculty rages, NUC accreditation team visits

Battle over LAUTECH agric faculty rages, NUC accreditation team visits

To be or not to be remains the slogan over the relocation of the agricultural sciences’ faculty of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo state, to Iseyin in Oke-Ogun axis.

While students, generality of lecturers and other categories of staff, parents, guardians and ex-students want the faculty to remain at the permanent site in Ogbomoso, where it has been domiciled for close to thirty four years, a few position-eyeing officers and politically-inspired individuals are rooting for the dismemberment of the institution.

It is no more news that the 200 level students of the faculty have resumed the second semester of the ongoing academic session at the Iseyin satellite campus but what has continued to be news is that students have refused to relocate to the new campus en masse.

Reports have it that only about 26 per cent (400 out of 1, 533) of the students have so far moved over to Iseyin with the remaining preferring to restart their university education elsewhere or perhaps waiting for the verdict of the court on the matter.

Thus, the battle still rages on, can authoritatively declare. “The larger percentage of the students have not relocated to Iseyin,” a senior lecturer who begged for anonymity informed.

“The students will rather lose their admission and start all over again elsewhere than being pawns in exploitative games by the elders. They insisted the motive is self-serving. The students are of the view that if they were admitted to study in Ogbomoso why suddenly changing the status to another location without any cogent reason except to fulfill political desires of those in government and the intent for position by ambitious lecturers who are bent on becoming vice chancellors,” added the lecturer.


So, students the oil that lubricates a school have refused to comply “and that means the plan is a flop. If after over a month the order was given for the students to relocate and 74 percent are yet to abide, then, it is a failed project. The honourable path is to re-assess the plan,” he stated further.

Students who spoke with Ogbomoso Insight confirmed it is detestable. “Those of us that have gone to Iseyin are cursing the prime movers every day. We are sleeping in classrooms in Iseyin because we can’t secure accommodation within the township and those that were able to secure, transport is very high because of the far distance to the campus. Do you think we will be happy with that and pray for those who put us into such plight for no reasonable reason?” A student disclosed.

Meanwhile another battle front is the vice chancellorship position. Naturally, the acting vice chancellor, Professor Rom Kalilu eyes confirmation as substantive vice chancellor. “But despite his pliant attitude Professor Gbenga Adewale the provost of the Iseyin campus and who is the main driver of the relocation remains his Achilles’ heels as he is said to be seriously coveting the position as well,” Ogbomoso Insight reliably gathered.

“He is an Ibadan man and has effectively used the Iseyin LAUTECH project to buoy his position as a ‘good boy’ of the establishment. So, he is banking on the success of the Iseyin project to strengthen his position. He is all out now to upstage Prof Kalilu,“ another senior don revealed.

As it is, Kalilu is said to be losing his support base at home (Ogbomoso) on account of his support for the Iseyin project. “He is now in the battle of his life seeking to retain the position and become substantive VC while Adewale is also strongly ramping up connections so as to be able to mount the exalted seat,” Ogbomoso Insight was further informed.

Engr Seyi Makinde, Oyo state governor

“The thing now is that elements in Iseyin are backing him having been sold the idea that only Adewale becoming the vice chancellor will give the relocated faculty a strong footing and that Kalilu remaining in the saddle will jeopardize the plan.”

In another front of the struggle, the NUC accreditation team was in the institution for accreditation of courses in the faculty recently and reportedly went to the Iseyin campus for assessment as well on the prompting of the VC after the delegation was said to have initially maintained it recognizes the Ogbomoso permanent campus as the home of the faculty of agricultural sciences.

During the eventual adventure to Iseyin they met with the students and according to information, the NUC delegation, aside other procedures, sought from the students how they were faring at their new abode to which the chorus was, “It is hell.”

Students of the faculty of agriculture protesting recently at the institution

Pressed further they were said to have complained of hardship they are exposed to which they noted is making learning difficult for them. “We can’t concentrate. The hardship we face is enormous. There are adequate facilities in Ogbomoso from where we were catapulted here, so, while those facilities are lying fallow we are made to suffer here,” was the summation of their chorus response.

And so the students demanded in one voice, unanimously, “Return us to Ogbomoso. We will appreciate that.”

Consequently, each student was asked to represent the opinion aired in writing in a sheet , “which the NUC team took away.”

Analysts are now saying that if Iseyin town or the institution’s campus cannot accommodate 400 students conveniently, how will the additional incoming 200 level students in February or March cope? They concluded the project is already a failed one. “If after a month you have only 25 percent or so of the students abiding by an instruction and the other 75 percent prefers to drop out, moreover the 25 percent which complied is daily demanding a return to their former abode, is that a thumb up for the management or government?

Prof Rom Kalilu, Acting VC LAUTECH

Furthermore, Ogbomoso Parapo, apex socio-cultural organization in the city, is soldiering on to reverse the relocation agenda. “It is never late, the governor can reverse it,” a senior member of the organization, John Adekunle, says. “If he reverses the renaming of the beautiful Adogba Central Mosque he rebuilt in Ibadan he can reverse this too.”

He continues, “It is obviously an undesirable venture that is designed to satisfy personal whims, it is not a well-thought out plan. It is a programme meant to score political point and at the same time wangle managerial positions by some people. For goodness sake, why should they move existing students from entrenched facilities to a place of inadequate facilities if not for sinister motive?”

Parents and guardians of the students have now joined forces with Ogbomoso Parapo as many members of the socio-cultural organization also have children who are victims.

“The organization and the parents reiterate that it is an ill-advised plan. It has been articulated that an agricultural science institute or new programmes be commenced there rather than the current disruptions inflicted on the concerned. Why are they bent on truncating and jeopardizing the academic pursuits of our children? That is why we have gone to court to challenge the move,” a parent, Roland Akinkunmi also told

Mr. Akinkunmi added, “We heard people of a nearby town are also seeking and mounting pressure to have the College of Nursing relocated to their domain. Is that the kind of legacy Governor Makinde wants to leave behind? He wants to scatter what the ancestors built and sustained? It is beginning to look as if the plan is to spite Ogbomoso. You have Technical University and others including the state’s polytechnic in Ibadan you are not balkanizing those ones, you turned a College of Education into a university in Oyo, you are not taking any part of that out but the only one we have in Ogbomoso you want to break it into pieces.

Prof Adewale, Provost College of Agric Iseyin

“They are saying they are bringing new faculties, has Emmanuel Alayande University of Education not been given some 50 new courses, so, what is the big deal about that? If at all, why don’t they begin those new faculties in Iseyin and make students’ population grow pari-passu with facilities in both the campus and the town.”

So Adekunle is angry with the elders in Ogbomoso and has harsh words for them, “But we also blame our leaders in Ogbomoso. I can say they are sell-outs. They are not bothered about the situation.They are complicit because of fear or because of political patronage. It is so disappointing. From the point of the town losing something valuable to the obvious slight intended they ought to have sought audience with the governor and convince him.

“But they see nothing bad in some people orchestrating the migration in the long run of some 15, 000 people out of their community. Imagine the amount 15, 000 persons will inject into the economy of the town daily. Let’s assume each of those 15, 000 persons (students, staffs and their families), spends one thousand five hundred (N1, 500) on a daily basis for transportation, feeding, drug, housing, and other things, that amounts to N22.5m and N675m monthly. But because those who parade themselves as leaders don’t live here it doesn’t bother them.”

This is as an ex-student of the faculty who has been agitated over the move, Mr. James Obasa, petitioned the National Universities Commission (NUC) over the matter.The petition letter obtained by also points out the undesirability of the move noting while facilities are in Ogbomoso, students are taken to Iseyin where he maintains there are no facilities, such as library, laboratories, farms and so on.


In the same vein, Obasa highlights the cumbersomeness of lecturers having to shuttle between Ogbomoso and Iseyin (76 kms apart) to teach students spread in different levels at the two campuses in the face of high cost of living and general insecurity in the country. The petition consequently urges the NUC to stick for proper and ideal things during the assessment.

The petition titled, “Impending Accreditation of Courses in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences LAUTECH, Ogbomoso: Illegal Relocation of the 200 Level Students Out of the Approved Campus, Ogbomoso,” reads, “As an alumnus of the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, I write in respect of the above subject sir.The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences established since 33years ago is due for a re-accreditation next November, 2023.The Faculty had enjoyed full accreditation for more than two consecutive assessments. The facilities for the programmes are situated in the Ogbomoso campus including those being shared with other faculties and departments.

“However sir, in spite of the impending accreditation, the authority is now relocating the 200 level students of the faculty out of the main campus where except the newly built buildings, the library is non-existent, the laboratories are empty, the farmland are not yet planned and the staff are being made to shuttle between two campuses (Ogbomoso and Iseyin) which has greatly reduced their commitment, productivity and dedication due to frequent cost which is both dangerous to their health, security risk and financially unreasonable. The same lecturers that will be teaching the 200 level in Iseyin, a distance of about 70 kilometers away will be engaged in teaching other levels (300, 400 & 500 levels). Knowing the danger that this will cause to the accreditation exercise, the management has perfected plans to wriggle out by dubiously present fake information to the accreditation panel. Let the accreditors ask for the 200 level students when they come!!!

“It is therefore my desire and that of others that the truth and only the truth be told and assessed such that the programmes be given proper assessment such that the needful be put in place for proper training of our students who are being prepared for agricultural and economic development of Nigeria through adequate training as spelt out by the curriculum. I thank you sir.”

There is also the legal front that have seen students and their parents instituting court case and are seeking injunction against the relocation pending the determination of the three reliefs sought, though the matter is yet to come up for hearing.

“No matter how you think about it, the relocation is ill-advised. A new faculty can be commenced having turned the university into a conventional one or convert the facilities provided to an institute of agriculture or entirely new courses in agriculture begun like renewable natural resources, aquaculture and forestry. But they want to subject an entire population into disappointment, oppress streams of generations of students and throw staffs into long misery,” also notes Femi Ogunlana, publisher/editor of Insight newspaper, who quickly adds, “That is not a productive way to deploy power in the 21st century. In this circumstance, students, academic staff, non-teaching staff, parents and even the original host community are against the move, students even have resorted to legal path, yet, you ignore their agitations. I think we should have passed such ruthless, power-drunk, recalcitrant stage. Being in power and position is only for a period, our stay in this world is even transient. A middle course, an acceptable position should be found and let’s move on.”

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