The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, on Monday, commended the Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, for the role he played in finding a permanent solution to the many years of joint ownership crises of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
Makinde added that without the leadership quality displayed by Oyetola, the problem could not have been resolved.
It will be recalled that the National Universities Commission (NUC) recently handed over ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, to the Oyo State Government while the Osun state Government took over the College of Health Sciences in Osogbo.
The decision was taken after the joint owners, Osun and Oyo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to effect a new management structure of the institution.
Makinde, who paid a ‘thank you’ visit to Governor Oyetola at his office in Osogbo, reiterated that indigenes of Oyo and Osun State working in the institution will retain all the rights and privileges stipulated in their letters of engagements and that the security of their jobs was guaranteed.
Makinde said: “I bring you greetings from the people and government of Oyo State. I came here to thank my brother, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, for the role he played in resolving the LAUTECH issues that had lingered for years.
“There’s been a lot of talk and insinuations out there in the media but what we’ve both done is to put the interest of our children, the students of that University, over and above politics, partisanship and ego.
“Some people have even started to insinuate that the two states have failed, because in the spirit of regional integration and oneness, we should have been able to jointly manage the institution. My response was that their position was well thought out and lucid but they missed the point.
“The point is, the joint ownership over the years had become challenging in terms of funding and management leading to constant friction and disruptions in the university.
“What was important was to get results, get our children back to school, get the university to a point where it can fulfill its mandate which is to train children who would be instrumental to the development of the State and the nation at large. That, we are now on track to achieving.
“Also, we have had instances when identical parties held sway in Oyo and Osun, yet this issue was not resolved. But here we are today, PDP and APC have worked together and solved the problem. So, we are all winners in this matter.
“I came to thank Governor Oyetola because without him playing the role of a statesman, we could not have solved the problem. Generations yet unborn will continue to value the role you played in resolving this issue.
“In LAUTECH, there is no longer Oyo Forum or Osun Forum. There is now only LAUTECH Forum. So, both Osun and Oyo States’ students in the institution will continue to enjoy the privileges of the owner states. There will be no discrimination, the fee structure remains the same and we look forward to the products of LAUTECH, whether from Oyo or Osun, contributing their quota to the progress and development of our states and Nigeria at large”, Makinde stated.
In his remarks, the Governor of the State of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, said the decision to sign off the institution required him to be statemanly and rise above political and primordial sentiments.
He added that his administration had considered the overall best interest of the State, the future of the students of the institution who were directly affected by the incessant crises, the welfare of the staff and the unity of the Yoruba nation, before taking the difficult but necessary decision.
Oyetola, who maintained that Osun had fully discharged its responsibilities towards LAUTECH before its exit, said that in the spirit of the agreement, the State look forward to the 12-month Transition Arrangement that will attend to all issues, intended or otherwise, which may be thrown up by the separation of ownership.
Oyetola charged the Oyo State Government to honour the agreement by ensuring prompt, complete and faithful implementation of every clause in the Memorandum of Understanding.