The unfortunate crisis that ensued as a result of joint ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) has taught us a great lesson, at the same time, it has created a template that can stand as a guideline for decision making now and in the future. At least the popular aphorism tells us that once bitten, twice shy.
While the euphoria has continued to trail the liberation of LAUTECH with the letter of divorce secured from Osun State, Encomium continues to be showered on his Excellency for this giant leap, the Student’s communities now have a common consaguinity under one master with one destiny.
Nonetheless, the decision of the State Government to create Satellite Campuses has also generated argument and reservation from people, most especially, people of Ogbomoso Descent. The argument is centered on two major points among others; learning from the mistakes of the past and showing prudence in today’s decision, and also, people argued that the decentralization policy is unfavourable to Ogbomoso town whose economy thrives on Student’s communities.
The two arguments may look feeble to someone that has not given it a thought before, but if looked critically, one might have one or two points that sound genuine. Decisions of today must be sustainable in essence that it will meet the needs of today without creating unnecessary puzzle for the futurity.
Babangida’s Administration that created LAUTECH with an arrangement to cite the main Campus in Ogbomoso while the Teaching Hospital was cited in Osogbo also had the notion of inclusive development, probably they were driven by the saying that by going together, we could go far, but the reality of the past 15 years had shown that going together doesn’t guarantee going farther.
Looking at the decision of the State Government to create Subsidiaries for LAUTECH, should we not learn from the past crisis emanated from decentralization? What about if the agitation for State creation succeeds and the Subsidiaries fall under another State, is that not going to generated another prolonged crisis? Will the posterity praise us for the decision we have made even when we have precedence to assist us? The antagonists of this policy suggested that if at all any Satellite Campus will be created with inclusive development in focus, the Campus should be cited within the Five (5) Local Governments in Ogbomoso Axis of the State.
The second argument is anchored on the fact that the economy of Ogbomoso as an agrarian society thrives on consumer population, and LAUTECH students get a larger chunk of this population, unlike Ibadan that is already relatively industrialized, dividing LAUTECH can reduce consuming population as many departments or faculties would be taken away with their students, and this is capable of having negative effects on Ogbomoso Economy.
Well, this piece is not to take a confrontational stance with the state government’s policy, rather, I intend to provoke our thoughts with divergent cum alternative opinions for the policy makers. Are we not about to create another difficult puzzle with the multi-campuses approach? Will there be alternatives to boost the economy of Ogbomoso Axis? We Siddon Dey Look.
Ogunwoye Samson Gbemiga
Ogbomoso, Oyo State.