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LAUTECH: The Joint Business Gone Terrible | By Adebayo Mabayoje

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The ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, has always been a source of conflict between the two-owner states, Oyo and Osun, especially after the latter established her own, Osun State University or UNIOSUN. The government of Oyo State wants Osun to transfer full ownership of the University to it while the other party disagrees. This conflict grew intense in 2010 under ex-Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State and the Osun State counterpart, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

 

The feud, which was resolved eventually after series of intervention by notable political icons and the National Universities Commission, has been recurrent at the emergence of every new government even when the governors share political membership.

 

The feud is usually sparked off by arguments about financial responsibilities. Both owners have pointed fingers at each other regarding failure to meet up to provision of grants and other financial roles to the school. However, available records show that between 2011 and 2019 Osun Government has committed up to 26b Naira, as against Oyo’s 4b Naira, as statutory subvention to the LAUTECH.

This is even as most of the University’s teaching and research structures, as well as the administration are situated in, and run from Ogbomoso, including the central administration of the University.

The implication of this is that the “gown-to-town” benefits of LAUTECH are mostly to the full advantage of the Oyo State Government, and specifically by the Ogbomoso town. Medium estate business flourishes in the town close to three decades running because of the fact that all the campuses of LAUTECH, but one, are established in Ogbomoso town.

The town situates seven faculties and the Post-graduate school of LAUTECH, where courses are taught in various fields of pure and applied science, medicine, agriculture, engineering and technology, environmental science. At least 300 administrative staff and more than 25,000 students of the school pay rents to house owners in Ogbomoso annually . In turn, these estate business operators pay taxes and levies, which adds to the revenues of the Oyo State Government monthly and annually.

Only the College of Health Science campus of LAUTECH is located in Osogbo, Osun State. It houses the 3-years clinical study for MBBS, Medical Laboratory Science and Nursing students which are just about a thousand.

Distastefully, a part of this lone structure of the institution is taken out of Osun state and is established in Ogbomoso. Specifically, the Pre-clinical years of study of the courses in the College of Health Science hold at the main campus in Ogbomoso.

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THE FIFTH COLUMNISTS

When General Emilio Mola was leading four columns of troops towards Madrid during the 1936-1939 Spanish civil war, he declared that he had a “fifth column” inside the city. At that time, observers of the feud surrounding LAUTECH were not in existence. However, today, they appreciate how General Mola’s use of the expression, “fifth columnist”, best describes the undermining tendencies of some people, which have regularly surfaced almost at the beginning of new administration(s) in Osun and Oyo States with respect to the joint ownership of LAUTECH.

 

A plausible idea is that some overt or clandestine actions and activities of some partisan groups are aimed at ensuring that the objective of the founding fathers. regarding the joint ownership of LAUTECH is thwarted. This would be so where these fifth columnists are being tempted by what opinion moulders refer to as “structure reality”.

 

As opposed to the joint ownership idea which is mutually held and operated cognitively, the “structure reality” of the matter of LAUTECH ownership is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent of the buildings and structural facilities and management of the University, all of which are situated in Ogbomoso, Oyo State. According to this school of thought, such is the temptation factor by which the fifth columnists are being encouraged. The plan is to frustrate the other party, the Osun State Government, whose stake, infrastructure wise, is almost nothing.

 

It is thus reasonable to put into perspectives, what the stake looks like for the Osun State government. Only one, out of the entire structure of the university, is situated in Osun state. In the same vein, more than 90 per cent of the students and staff population of the school, fall in the Oyo State divide.

 

And going by the records of the financial commitments of the governments of the two states between 2011-2019, Osun government could be said to have more unnecessarily deployed resources to the joint-ownership course. This is, more so, with respect to the paltry 4b Naira subvention records of the Oyo State counterpart against the Osun’s contributions so far.

The 26b Naira subvention record that the Osun government committed within the periods would have made gargantuan impacts if such funds were deployed to the development of the polytechnics, colleges of education owned by government, including the Osun State University, as well as other tertiary institutions in the state.

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INTERNAL REVENUE GENERATION OF BOTH UNIVERSITIES

The National Universities Commission, NUC, approved the establishment of the Osun State University on December 21, 2006, as the 30th State University and the 80th in the Nigerian university system. This record shows that the contentious LAUTECH had been established, 16 years earlier, with records of about five convocation.

Current population of LAUTECH’s regular students is about 35,000 as against UNIOSU”s 15,000. Clearly, the former is at greater advantage with regards to revenue generation. Ironically, this relatively older university always go cap-in-hand for funds to pay salaries of its workers and for other expenditures. So, where goes the generated revenues running to billions of Naira every academic session?

 

While the Osun State Government commits billions of Naira annually to the running of LAUTECH, a joint institution, it hardly received request for subvention from the Osun State University management. This is because with seven colleges in six campuses located in the six geopolitical zones of Osun State, enough revenues are generated and are equally expended judiciously, including the payment of staff salaries and other entitlements, as well as research grants. Therefore, one is encouraged to wonder how LAUTECH had been expending its generated revenues every session over the years.

 

Two years ago, a visitation panel, chaired by Chief Wole Olanipekun was set up to investigate the crisis rocking the LAUTECH. It was discovered that the school had no fewer than 97 different bank accounts in almost all the commercial banks in Nigeria. This is contrary to the policy of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy specifically put in place to promote transparency. Therefore, the Chief Olanipekun’s panel recommended that, “the accounts of the LAUTECH and its workforce must be audited”. This development constructs a very bad representation of the officials at the helm of affairs of LAUTECH, as well as members of the unions that identify as pressure groups in the School.

Needful to recall that the contentious LAUTECH was originally established through an edict signed on April 23, 1990 by Colonel Sasaeniyan Oresanya, the then military administrator of Oyo State. Its name was changed from Oyo State University of Technology (OSUTECH) to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) after the separation of Osun State from Oyo State in 1991.

Twenty-six years later, a seeming rebirth of the disbanded OSUTECH was suspected, bearing the name- Oyo State Technical University, Ibadan. It is referred to as “The Tech-U”, and “Nigeria’s first and only technical university”, thereby robbing off the age-long characterisation of LAUTECH as the first technical oriented university in Nigeria.

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“When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers” is an African proverb which means that the weak get hurt in conflicts between the powerful.

With news headlines such as “Ladoke Akintola University of Technology ASUU disrupts ongoing exams”, “Now that LAUTECH calls off one strike, how long will it take to start another?”, and “LAUTECH: Group alleges plans to attack VC, workers from Osun”, it is it quite obvious that it not well with the University, and this has caused devastating experiences on the lives of thousands of students of the school.

The situation has gone most awry with recent report of an uncovered plans by some workers of the school, “who are from Oyo State, to attack the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Michael Ologunde, and others from Osun”.

In 2012, a Supreme Court ruling delivered by Justice Dahiru Musdapher, upheld the terms of settlement agreed to by the two states. By the rolling. “the Government of Oyo State by itself, Governor, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, or any officer or organ deriving title or authority from them, from taking any further step to give any directive or instruction contrary to the provisions of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Law, 1990 (as amended), in particular, the joint ownership structure of the university”.

However, considering the current state of affairs In the university, a question seeking answer is: how healthy is the joint ownership idea of LAUTECH at the moment, particularly as the effect of the open feud has moved beyond the usual disruption of academics to the scenario of workers of the school battling against each other. After all, the law, made by man, is amendable or abrogatable by man.

 

 

Adebayo Rasheed Mabayoje, writes from Osogbo, Osun State.

 

 

 

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Opinion

RE: Laolu Akande: The Supplanter Comes Full Throttle | By Adetayo Adekunle

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Let me start by saying that I do not hold brief for Mr. Laolu Akande (SSAP Media, OVP) or anybody for that matter.

Accordingly, I urge readers to kindly consider this rejoinder as that of *”a meddlesome interloper”* who jumped into the fray after reading an article and a response.

With all sense of responsibility, Mr. Festus Adedayo’s response to Mr. Laolu Akande’s rejoinder is rather too shallow, puerile, jejune and below board.

In the article under review, Mr. Adedayo committed the same infractions he alleged Mr. Laolu Akande for.

The entire writeup is high on vitriolic but ephemerally low on substance.

Rather than go personal, methinks it’s better to respond to the questions posed to him by Laolu Akande in his rejoinder.

Or was Mr. Adedayo expecting “his supposed friend” to say thank you for spewing unsubstantiated gibberish against his principal?

Without any doubt whatsoever, Mr. Adedayo must have been consuming cheap substances to have alleged that the Vice President viciously prayed to be substantive President when his boss was sick. Like a scene from a Yoruba movie, Festus further asserted that a President Muhammadu Buhari ally came in and the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as his Pastors were shell shocked.

If this is not a lie from the pit of hell, what then is it?

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Can Mr. Adedayo swear with whatever he believes in that this is the truth?

Since Mr. Adedayo has also decided to be afflicted by selective amnesia, I will assist him to put certain things in the right perspective.

To start with, Mr. Laolu Akande “NEVER SUPPLANTED”* anybody before he got his editorial job in the Tribune. Facts at my disposal indicates that prior to his (Akande’s) appointment, there was a competitive exam and interview where he led with barely 1%. A colleague, Akinjide Akintola came second in that examination.

Secondly, to all intents and purposes, Mr. Akande was your senior colleague at Tribune. You would recall that as early as 1992, Akande was already a household name in Guardian and Nigerian journalism as a whole. As a matter of fact, he was a senior editor before the then Mr. now Prof Wale Adebanwi brought you on board as a writer/reporter. You were at best a subordinate, co-worker and acquaintance but certainly not a friend.

Mr. Adedayo, can you say you have paid your benefactor Wale Adebanwi rightly and justly for all he did for you? What is your relationship with him today?

Furthermore, Akande is still friends with other members of the the 5- man circle you referred to -Prof. Wale Adebanwi of Oxford, Prof Adeolu Akande of Igbinedioun University, Dr. Segun Olatunji and Mr. Bode Opeseitan. All the aforementioned were his friends and they are still best of friends till today.

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The same Laolu Akande you described as stagnant has had the rare privilege of interviewing a sitting President of the United States and is currently serving in the Presidency of Nigeria. His appointment and reapportionment were effected effortlessly.

Nigerians surely know the writer that vehemently criticized the process leading to Dr. Ahmed Lawan’s emergence as Senate President in daytime only for the so called public intellectual to attend an interview with the aim of working for that same government he pretends to loathe. If I may ask, where is the integrity?

Mr. Adedayo, it is good to flaunt one’s achievements but then as a Yoruba man you ought to know about the proverbial child who described his father’s farm as the largest in the land before visiting larger farms.

The likes of Rt. Hon. Mojeed Alabi (with six degrees in Law and Political Science), Dr. Akin Onigbinde (another fine gentleman with chain of degrees in Law and Political Science) and other greats whose academic achievements are mouthwatering do not gallivant around town with their degrees but they carry themselves with grace and humility.

While I wish you well in your delusion of grandeur, I can only pity youngsters who see a role model in you.

But please don’t forget to unveil the identities of “the Pastors” and “the Buhari ally” who strayed into “frantic prayers for Osinbajo”.

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Until then, ire oooooooo.

 

 

Adetayo Adekunle, public affairs analyst writes from Ibadan, Oyo State 

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Opinion

Laolu Akande: The supplanter comes full throttle, Adedayo fires back at Osinbajo’s spokesman

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I ordinarily do not rejoind rejoinders to my pieces. My philosophy is that, the same freedom I enjoy to air my views is same the person penning the rejoinder has. However, I have had to break this principle, in reply to the doggerel written by Mr. Laolu Akande, the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media. Of a truth, after reading his, with the benefit of hindsight, I felt I shouldn’t have written it, thus saving Nigerians the horror of encountering Mr. Akande in his rawest fit.

 

I have known the presidential media assistant for more than two decades now and I, as well as those who know him, know that his short fuse is akin to an epileptic fit. That he would translate this drawback into the management of his office was not a surprise. What is surprising is that mature minds in the presidency couldn’t rein in this personal limitation from becoming an official imprimatur that paints the hallowed office of the Vice President in the visor of a common motor park tout whenever this fit is in full blossom. Like in the rejoinder under reference.

 

Not only do I know Mr. Akande very well, on my part, I thought he was my friend and that he is aware that friendship shouldn’t stand in the way of making comments on issues that affect the country. Specifically, I knew Mr. Akande in 1995, about 24 years ago, at the Tribune House, Imalefalafia, Ibadan, Oyo State. Surprisingly, while Akande pretends never to have worked there, I still carry the glory of this frontline newspaper which made me what I am today.

 

Those who are in the know would tell you what Akande used the Saturday Tribune newspaper he edited then for, which he knows that I know. With what we all know, Akande is the least person to impute motives to what journalists write. It is on record that almost all the lead stories in the newspaper under his editor-ship were against the government of the day. Would it be right to say he collected money from the opposition then?

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I hope Mr. Akande remembers that I was not just an insider in the Tribune then, we were sufficiently close for me to know what he did. The language he used for me in the said rejoinder did not in the least shock me, his friend – I assume! – of almost 24 years, given the fact of what I know about how Mr. Akande regards relationships. My friend, Akande, was a member of a 5-man circle of very closely-knit friends in the Tribune at that time. Can he explain why the other four were sacked in 1997 and he did not only survive the sack, he, like a supplanter, took over the post of one of his sacked friends? Or has he forgotten how he became the editor of the Saturday Tribune, a position he took from his sacked friend? Till today, Mr. Akande’s friends still lament the knife with which his Cassius stabbed their Julius Caesar. The quadruple facilitated his employment at the Tribune. This is basically why I am not bothered about his intemperate language. All of us, his friends, do not expect anything noble from Mr. Akande.

 

On March 17, 2018, celebrated and respected journalist, one of our immediate forefathers in the pen profession, Mr. Dele Momodu, wrote a very emotional piece about Mr. Akande. He entitled it An Open Letter to Laolu Akande. In that piece, Mr. Momodu traced the genealogy of his association with Akande. He began by wondering “what people eat or drink inside the Aso Rock Villa that makes some of those of (our) ilk, who we once admired, misbehave the way you (Akande) did last night.” Like me, Mr. Momodu had known him for more than two decades. He wrote about how, on meeting Akande in America where he was sojourning, he “expressed the difficulties and vagaries of life (he) faced in America,” how he made him North American Bureau Chief for Ovation International and how, at some point, the editor “complained about the way you handled transactions and so on” and how he “simply abandoned a company that provided some modest income for (him) in America.”

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He had been publishing a ragtag online medium called Empowered Newswire which visiting Nigerian politicians to the US claimed he was using to extort money from them. Mr. Akande’s reply to a similar piece I did critiquing the VP authored by Momodu was, “For good measure, Bob Dee, maybe we should just remind our readers that not only are you an active member of opposition, you also retain with top notchers of the PDP significant business relationships.” It was a euphemism for alleging that the respected journalist was compromised.

 

I noticed that in the said rejoinder, Mr. Akande repeatedly referred to me as “Mr.” Being someone with visceral hatred for titles, I do not bother about whatever prefix anyone attaches to me but, in this instance, I noticed that this was done for spite purpose, even when Mr. Akande is aware that I hold a PhD – not honoris causa – from the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, same school I am aware that Mr. Akande struggled unsuccessfully for close to two decades until he abandoned his doctoral pursuit. For his information, while he is stagnant intellectually, I have gone a step forward to acquire an LLB from that same University of Ibadan .

 

Now back to his claim of my manufacture of the information in the piece. While I owe him no apology whatsoever, explanation or any detail, I leave Nigerians to place us side by side and judge who is believable between us. Here was a presidential aide who, about a week ago, took about 200 million Nigerians for a ride, telling them that there was no sack of his principals’ aides by the President. A few hours after, a colleague aide of his at the presidency told the world that there were indeed sacks of the same people. Mum has been the word from the supplanter since then. In saner climes, it was enough reason to resign his portfolio. Shamelessly, he still appends his signature to releases. No remorse, no shame. Till today,

 

Mr. Akande is apparently one of those “government people” whose warped and narrow minds cannot conceive the possibility of anyone critiquing government personalities without having been compromised. He has failed to tell the world who could have compromised me to write an old information that was common knowledge on the Nigerian information highway. I am sure that those who were privy to the information must be laughing themselves hoarse at Mr. Akande’s unexampled attempt to make a corpse walk.

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As a parting shot, the person I pity most is the VP who is trapped in the cocoon of this irascible element who has transposed his short fuse into the management of the press of the vice president. I recommend the examples of his colleagues – Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu – to him. When you critique their boss, not only do they take it in their strides, they do not smear the critic in swine lingo as Akande does. Today, Mr. Akande has scant regards among Nigerian media chiefs due to this limitation of his and how he cannot maintain friendships. No wonder the office has almost nil media rating. Many of the barbs the professor VP receives are ostensibly ones meant for his media chief who will descend into the gutters and splash sewers on whoever tells the world that his principal isn’t exactly a nephew of Angel Gabriel. No one is.

 

 

Dr Festus Adedayo, a seasoned journalist, columnist and media consultant; writes from Ibadan, Oyo state

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Re-Trials of Osinbajo: Columnist gone rogue, VP’s aide, Akande lambasts Adedayo

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Mr. Festus Adedayo’s article above is a sad descent into the gutter by this gentleman. When a professional columnist of Adedayo’s age and experience puts his reputation behind outright fiction and absolute mischief, usually it is a sign that the poor fellow is compromised. This is the sad reality we face today and it is truly troubling.

But let us give Mr. Adedayo the benefit of the doubt. Let us assume that he has some facts to support the reckless insinuations and innuendoes in his article.

He should then be able to answer the following questions.

He claimed that the Vice President, together with some Redeemed Church ‘accomplices’, gathered to pray at some place unstated in his home State of Ogun, at a date that was not indicated, for the purpose of interceding for the VP to become President, and by extension, hoping for, or seeking the death of the President.

So where exactly in Ogun State did this prayer session take place, and when? Was it in a church, in which case there would likely be an audio recording? Who are the prominent pastors or other persons involved that can testify to what transpired – what are their names? Who is the “strong Buhari ally” who made a surprise appearance at the gathering and brought the story back to Mr. President? If, as Adedayo claims, the VP has been hounding and haranguing this Buhari ally since then, why is it so difficult for him to cry out and publicize his strange discovery?

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Who primed Onnoghen to “package Buhari inside a judicial casket” during the 2019 elections? And to whose benefit? If, for any reason, the Buhari election was nullified by the judiciary, how would that benefit his running mate, since they contested on the same ticket?

 

These asinine stories put together by Mr. Adedayo betray a more evil motive. The Vice President’s commitment to the service of the Nigerian people under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is unrelenting. But there is a desperation in some quarters to create a division between the President and the Vice President. It appears that they need some well known press names who are prepared to write anything. But for what reward? One wonders. They clearly found one here, as the writer’s jaundiced article bumbled from the realm of baseless claims to outright fiction.

 

We do not expect an apology from Mr. Adedayo to the Vice President. This is the style of these professionals gone rogue. They are prepared to smear others and stick to their vile stories. Their conscience seems unperturbed by their reckleness. But, again, we give him the benefit of the doubt, let him answer the questions we have asked.

 

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