Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo has admitted that he made mistakes in the processes he adopted to seek partnership with the private sector in the management of selected secondary schools in the state.
The Governor who was speaking on Tuesday at the rescheduled stakeholders meeting which held at the House of Chief, Parliamentary Building, Oyo state secretariat, Agodi consequently took responsibility for the consequences of his action and asked for forgiveness.
While further explaining his mistakes, the Governor said he erred by not facilitating a pre-stakeholders meeting ahead of the enlarged meeting called which was disrupted by some workers leading to the arrest, arraignment and detention of some labour leaders for five days as well as violent protest by the students of the secondary schools who destroyed government and private property.
He further said that the proposed N250, 000 his government requested from individuals interested in partnering with the government in running the schools was also done in error adding that publishing the notice and calling on interested private partners in the media before inviting stakeholders for a meeting was a mistake.
The governor said, “We made three mistakes instead of one that people think. The ministry of education has been one of the most supportive of our administration and we have allowed them run the system on their own.
“When we came to the point of inviting partners to run the school, we had thought that they would have called on stakeholders before the enlarged stakeholders meeting was fixed, but they didn’t do it and I also didn’t do it, so it was our mistake.
“Secondly, we made mistake by asking willing and interested partners to pay the sum of N250,000 as expression of interest, even though the maximum we could get at anytime is maybe a hundred applicant which is even still not enough to run the schools or do anything.
“More importantly, even for publishing the proposal before conveying an enlarged stakeholders meeting, it was a mistake. But for every mistakes that might have occurred, don’t hold anybody responsible, just forgive me”.
The governor however, assured the participants his administration would not abdicate his responsibility of providing free and quality education for the people of the state
In their remarks, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi lauded the governor for his efforts to rescue the State’s education sector from collapse calling on anyone with better idea to come up with it.
Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola, Bishop of Diocese of Ibadan North (Anglican Communion), Joseph Ajetumobi, Chairman, Muslim Community, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, and other speakers at the meeting urge the government to take steps to correct the erroneous impressions about the government’s idea.