The Oasis Reporters
July 5, 2019
In the run-up to the Osun State gubernatorial election late 2018, students, staff and the Ogbomosho community looked up to heavenly hosts to give Osun State, a governor that would hearken unto their crIes for the resuscitation of the University in Ogbomosho, Oyo State.
The academic institution called Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH for short, is jointly owned by the two states, Oyo and Osun, that used to be one, before it was split up to two states. As a joint concern, it failed to have a real and responsible father, therefore becoming derelict, decrepit and most times, shut down.
Ogbomosho people could not vote at the Osun election, because geographically, they are in Oyo State.
Because the University has over the years “boosted economic activities such as Real Estate, Banking, Hospitality, Transportation, SME, Agribusiness and Trading, Ogbomosho citizens watched with keen interest, the political campaigns. The PDP candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke caught their fancy because his well articulated marshal plan for the resuscitation of the citadel of learning that the community thrives on, vis a vis, the daily transactions of the 35,000-plus students’ population that were shut out of Ogbomoso for almost 23 months needed a boost”, wrote Ropo Egbeleke.
The fact that both Oyo State, then under former governor Abiola Ajimobi was in the same political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC with then Osun governor, Rauf Aregbesola did not offer any solution to Lautech and the Ogbomosho community. Even after making the overall Southwest APC leader and godfather to the two former governors, Asiwaju Tinubu the Chancellor of the University, things still got even worse.
And then, with the turns and twists of Nigeria’s turbulent politics, Ademola Adeleke that seemed set to win, had his emerging victory ball tossed into the air, and the election was kicked into an inconclusive goal mouth. At the resumption of play, the new referee, Supreme Court of Nigeria noticed that the lead judge at the lower tribunal that tried the case and awarded judicial victory to Senator Ademola Adeleke missed just one session during the sitting, decided that victory must go to the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola who was Chief of staff to ex governor Rauf Aregbesola, under whom LAUTECH went comatose.
Oyetola himself is a nephew of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Therefore, aluta continua, as far as the Osun State end is concerned.
But come the Oyo State end of its own gubernatorial election that Ogbomosho citizens could actively participate in.
They felt that “Abiola Ajimobi led APC administration in Oyo State practically saw to the near extinction of LAUTECH within his 8 year reign, resulting in the unprecedented economic collapse of the town. The severe economic situation in the town became the major reason why the people of Ogbomoso and its environ loathed anything that has to do with Ajimobi so much to the extent that the people punished Bayo Adelabu of the APC, and particularly Bola Tinubu who incidentally is still the Chancellor of LAUTECH”, continued Ropo Egbeleke, Ex-President LAUTECH SUG 2001/2002 and 2004/2005 and Co-Initiator of #fundLAUTECH.
In the sight of the Ogbomosho community, despite the sharp turn a son of the soil and former governor of the state, Christopher Alao Akala made by embracing the APC’s Adebayo Adelabu, his own people turned their feet to the testimony of PDP’s Engr. Seyi Makinde for several reasons. Thy had hoped that Ademola Adeleke of Osun State would reclaim the election victory that he was at the verge of winning before thugs seemed programmed to disrupt the election and get it declared inconclusive.
But that was not the main factor.
Neither was the fact that “between 1991 till 2011 during AD and PDP era in both Oyo and Osun States, LAUTECH witnessed massive development and ranked among the best Universities in the Africa continent regardless of the party at the Federal level”, Ropo Egbeleke equally asserted.
The LAUTECH story helped to drive the campaign of Seyi Makinde, especially when his philanthropy is recognized in the area of education. The Oasis Reporters were there in 2014 at the Emeritus Professor Ogunlesi Hall when Seyi Makinde awarded bursaries of ten thousand naira each to about one thousand, five hundred students, and executed a bigger feat in 2018. It portrayed him as education friendly.
Most importantly, when concerned persons launched the #FundLautech campaign to bring attention to the abject neglect of the institution, Ropo Egbeleke said that they were able to raise 9.4 million naira after 100 days of campaign. “The #fundLAUTECH was so loud that within a short while the LAUTECH stakeholders got an invitation to meet with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Senate Committee on Education”.
Engr. Seyi Makinde donated 2.5 million naira to the fundLAUTECH initiative in 2017 making him the highest single donor to the campaign”.
“We also had donations from Senator Adewolu Ladoja, a group of Accord Party members in the OYHA, Parents and from the general public that ranged from 1million naira, 500,000, 100,000, 10,000, 5,000 and even 500 naira which was the lowest from the public.
Both Ladoja and Makinde were on different radio programs on multiple occasions to address the issue of LAUTECH during the #fundLAUTECH campaign”.
Makinde’s donation in 2017, was the seed that germinated in 2019 and helped make him governor.
The big question now is, will Osun State governor, Oyetola of the APC join hands with Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde to bring back the pride of LAUTECH or in the event of any inability, cede the University to Oyo State?
2022 and 2023 will tell.