Nigeria

LAUTECH: A study in conflict resolution

THE National University Commission recently came up with an epic announcement. The Ladoke Akintola Universuty of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso had been taken over by the Oyo State government. The long battle over the control and funding of the institution  had finally been resolved. Osun, the erstwhile joint owner took over the full control of the medical school in Osogbo. The two states had fought and squabbles over the university since Osun was created out of Oyo State. Funding had always been the most difficult knot to unite. Indeed for several months, the students of the university had stayed at home while the states squabbled over funding and school fees. Indeed one of the highlights was the Constituted Authority encounter between erstwhile governor of Oyo State and students of the university. The late Ajimobi tried to assert some order at the encounter by insisting he was the Constituted Authority. It was the perfect fodder for derision and umbrage as detractors insisted the governor was drunk on the elixir of power.

One gentleman called Seyi Makinde went to the students and made a solemn promise to resolve the crises in the interest of the students. They believed him and worked for his victory at the polls and the governor responded magnificently. In his characteristic style Gov. Makinde silently worked tirelessly to reposition the institution and inject fresh energy into its academic and other pursuits   The statement of the NUC was the result of long days and nights of negotiation and compromise. Makinde adopted his characteristic mantra of putting the people first.  Nigeria today rebels under the impact of distrust between the government and the governed. From the Federal Government to the local councils citizens snigger when government officials speak. It is like lies have become the life blood of our national leadership.

One state governor was ambushed on the streets of Ibadan by grateful students from LAUTECH. They came to say thanks you like the only leper of Jericho.

O to se o

Seyi ti se o

Ohun ti a nbere Seyi ti se o

Interpretation:

He has done it.

Seyi has done it  What we requested he has done it.

That is rare music in the ears in a country where the lead news stories are scandals, corruption and conflict. It is like an oasis in the arid desert. It is also proof that our people are appreciative of selfless governance. Early in the year, this governor tested positive for COVID-19, an army of prayer warriors made of ordinary citizens, formed a spiritual ring of steel around him and prayed night and day till he recovered. People he does not know. People he will never meet. Seyi has set the bar far too high in Agodi. He just recruited thousands of graduates into the teaching service after abolishing school fees. The list of his achievements is intimidating and extra-terrestrial. Seyi’s shoes are far too large for any regular politician to fit into. He breaks the glass ceiling on a daily basis.  Perhaps it makes some sense at this stage to ask why this governor makes so much difference within such a short span of time. The only possible answer is the gap between selfless and responsible leadership and life as usual which was the order of the day.

One day, Seyi’s story will be told where it really matters and the nation will rise in applause. The resolution of LAUTECH’s long drawn headache is not the end of a story. It is the beginning of another one for Oyo’s dynamic chief executive. A multi campus system with each campus tailor made for the needs and peculiarity of its environment is already afoot. LAUTECH will become a multi layered jumpstart for the industrial and economic development of the state. Igbeti for one is already asking for a campus. Obviously the Faculty of Agriculture. A vital seed is being buried in the fertile sand of Oyo State and the results can easily be imagined.  One area though that Oyo State needs to watch out for is intra-city transportation. The present mode of transportation including the use of petrol and diesel engines is about to become obsolete. In a decade cars as they are now will become a misfit. A serious government must adopt a good plan for meeting such a time. In terms if revenue and social engineering.

I recall once presenting a futuristic plan for the Inner and Outer Ibadan tramways for the Ajimobi government. It didn’t see the point in it. Perhaps it is time to have another look.

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