Legal icon and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Niyi Akintola SAN, has commended what he called the pragmatism and native intelligence demonstrated by the governors of Oyo and Osun states, Seyi Makinde and Gboyega Oyetola, in resolving the 14 years tussle that has stunted growth and development at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso.
Akintola, who spoke in Ibadan during an interview on Fresh F.M, a privately owned radio station, on Saturday, said with the resolution of the crisis, Makinde and Oyetola have done what the famous French statesman and military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, could not do.
The two states agreed to end a joint ownership of the school which was once rated the best state-run technical university in the country, with the National Universities Commission (NUC) announcing on Friday that Oyo will now be solely in charge of the university, while its College of Health Sciences, which is located in Osogbo, is ceded to Osun.
“I am not only excited, I am thrilled. Both Governors Makinde and Oyetola have done what Napoleon [Bonaparte] could not do. With pragmatism and native intelligence, they have been able to pull through something that people had thought was impossible.
“Don’t forget that there is a Supreme Court judgment on this matter. The Supreme Court had said that the school could not be separated. That the governors were able to navigate through the murky waters implies they deserve some commendations.
“Though for me, it has been a bag of mixed blessings. But I am excited and pleased that the dichotomy that has brought about the logjam has been put to rest. It is a gain for us in Oyo State and a gain for them in Osun.
“However, it is a loss for Yoruba unity. Why is it that despite all efforts, we couldn’t navigate through the cultural claims? When you look at the demography and cultural arithmetic of Osun, you will discover that the state is 90 per cent populated by Oyo State people. It is only the Ijesa and the Ife that don’t belong to Oyo. Hardly will you find any family in Ede, Ode-Omu, Gbongan, Modakeke and Iwo that has no family in Ibadan and it is because many past rulers of Ibadan have come from there.
“This is not the first time that the South-West is facing such. It once happened between Ondo and Ekiti states. The Ondo State University that was built by Pa Adekunle Ajasin faced similar tussle between Ondo and Ekiti to the extent that Ondo had to abandon the university for Ekiti State.
Even the panel set up by the Federal Government to settle the rift couldn’t end it until the states arrived at amicable settlements just like Governor Makinde and Oyetola have done now.
“The two governors, Makinde and Oyetola, deserve commendation. But at the global level, where do we go from here if we couldn’t manage things jointly. It called for great efforts on the part of sociologists and cultural leaders in Yoruba land to find a way because something is definitely wrong with us,” he said.
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