Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, on Monday, said himself and Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State had to set aside politics and ego in resolving the ownership crisis that ravaged the hitherto jointly-owned Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.
Makinde, who spoke in Osogbo during a ‘Thank You’ visit to Oyetola in his office, declared that his Osun State counterpart acted like a statesman and put the interest of students of the institution above other considerations.
He said at the peak of the ownership crisis, different groups in the university were feeding him and Oyetola with different information, but noted that after considering all sides to the issues, the need to protect the future of the students emerged paramountly.
He then assured that notwithstanding the change in ownership status of the institution, indigenes of Oyo and Osun schooling in the university would continue to enjoy the same privilege.
Makinde said, “I came here to thank my brother, Governor Gboyega Oyetola for the role he played which eventually led to us being able to resolve the LAUTECH issue.
“There’s been a lot of talk and insinuations out there in the media but what we have both done is to the interest of our children that are students of that university over and above politics, partisanship, and ego.
“Somebody said to me that in the spirit of regional integration and oneness in the region, we should have been able to manage the institution. And I said that position was well thought out, but they missed a point, the point is the joint ownership over the years has become really challenging in terms of funding and in terms of stakeholders in there.
“When you go to LAUTECH, you have Oyo forum, Osun forum. They are coming to whisper to me, they are also coming to whisper to the governor here.
“And in the middle of that, the institution was closed down for several years. And I said to those people that there are several ways to skin a rat. But what is important is, we want to get results. We want to get our children back to school. We want to get the university to the point that it can fulfill its original mandate which is to train children who would be instrumental to the development of the state and the nation at large. That, we are now on track to achieving.
“Also, we have had instances when identical parties held sway in Oyo and Osun, yet this issue was not resolved. But here we are today, PDP and APC have worked together and solved the problem. So, we are all winners in this matter.
“I came to thank Governor Oyetola because without him playing the role of a statesman, we could not have solved the problem. Generations yet unborn will continue to value the role you played in resolving this issue.
“In LAUTECH, there is no longer Oyo Forum or Osun Forum. There is now only LAUTECH Forum. So, both Osun and Oyo states’ students in the institution will continue to enjoy the privileges of the owner states.
“There will be no discrimination, the fee structure remains the same and we look forward to the products of LAUTECH, whether from Oyo or Osun, contributing their quota to the progress and development of our states and Nigeria at large.”
Responding, Osun state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, said he had to be statesmanly and consider the interest of the students to sign off the institution.
He, then, charged the Oyo State Government to honour the agreement between it and Osun through prompt, complete, and faithful implementation of all conditions in the Memorandum of Understanding.