Tuesday, October 4, 2016 12:03 am
A socio-cultural organization in Ogbomoso town, Oyo State known as Ogbomoso Parapo has dissociated itself from sponsoring any form of attack on the staff of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, as reported in the media
In a statement signed by its chairman and secretary, Saka Bello and Tunde Afolabi respectively made available to the media on Monday, the organization said that it was not party to any attack on the staff of the institution who are of the State of Osun origin and vowed never to support such a wicked act.
According to the statement, “We state unequivocally stated that Ogbomoso Parapo (Home Branch) was not involved in the purported attack by thugs on staff members of LAUTECH who are of Osun state origin as reported by some dailies recently. Neither was the association party to it nor sponsored any such thing”.
According to the organization, its involvement in the LAUTECH saga is not because the university is located in Ogbomoso but because of the overall interest of the university and its students and staff who are being made to suffer the consequences of joint ownership crisis which had become lingering adding, “We state that our incessant outcry over the matter is not in any way connected to the university being located in Ogbomoso, no, it’s because of our genuine concern over the gradual decay being witnessed in the institution that was once declared the best state university in Nigeria, on two consecutive occasions.
“The university had been closed down since early June over matters connected with funding and non-payment of workers’ salaries which has now run into seven months; also, final year students of the institution are on the verge of missing mobilization for NYSC if they had not.
“It is because we are on ground and have first hand information over these situations that we have been vociferous over the matter, we have no selfish interest and we are only being driven by patriotic considerations to save the soul of the university.”
The association explained, “What was reported did not represent the facts, the reporters were only being overzealous and trying to mislead the public for reasons best known to them. What happened that day was that we received news that a government delegation from Osun state was in a meeting with members of staff who were Osun indigenes in the university.
“We were also informed that the delegation was whipping up sentiment and making provocative statements against the people of Oyo state. Our mobile phones individually were inundated with calls and bearing in mind rumours previously that Oyo state indigenes in the university might be attacked”.
It continued, “We swiftly asked our Committee on Education to find out what was happening and calm fray nerves, but they were told when they arrived the institution that the delegation was now holding another “secret” meeting in the office of the bursar, Mr. A.B.C. Olagunju, who is an indigene of Osun state, but our people’s efforts to see him and the delegation in his office were prevented as the entrance was barricaded.
“All appeals to see him fell on deaf ears and so we could not meet with him. Shockingly however, this was dubbed, ‘Miscreants attack Osun indigenes…’ So, we want to let the public know that the report published was a far cry from the truth. We want to emphasize that no one was attacked, and if there is any victim of assault let him present himself or herself. We are civilized people who believe the protracted issue is best resolved through dialogue.
“The two states have kindred relationship dating back to the past, and so we are quite aware that the matter will be settled amicably by the two state governments in the best interest of the university, students and the public at large; nothing good comes from crisis”.
In another development, Oyo State Forum, the umbrella body for Oyo state indigenes in LAUTECH, has also debunked the report that orchestrated attacks were carried out on Osun state indigenes in the university.
In a statement signed by Chief A. Adeniran and Mr. E.A. Aremu, its chairman and secretary respectively, the body faulted the report saying that nothing of such happened in the institution while it also expressed concern over the lingering matter of ownership.
The statement stated, “The insinuation that our counterparts from Osun state were attacked was a lie, very far from the truth. In the first instance, the school is shut and all unions in the university (SSANU, NASU, ASUU) are on strike and so where were the staff that were assaulted?
“Also, it must be realized that Osun state indigenes in the university are our colleagues whom we have worked with since the institution’s inception, so, we could never stand by while they are assaulted. Moreover, independent investigations carried out by us indicated that nothing of such happened.
It continued, “Therefore, we take exceptions to the news item which was not cross-examined by the reporters who compiled it; we submit that conjuring stories in the comfort of newsrooms without making efforts to go to the source is anathema to the ethics of the profession. We restate that no staff member was attacked under whatever guise in the university”.
Meanwhile, the body reiterated its position on the ownership logjam saying, “On the disengagement of Osun state from LAUTECH we stand.”
It further explained that the continued joint ownership had proven to be moribund in the present circumstances while canvassing that a workable arrangement be reached on the final dissolution of joint ownership.