Distinguished readers, either the flag is half-cast or not, the nation is mourning. Nigerians have got used to sad stories, there is absolutely no sad story that weakens the heart of a Nigerian.
People who feel no compassion towards regular news of boko-haram members killing harmless citizens and soldiers everyday, fatal accidents occur in virtually all states due to bad roads, kidnapping and armed robbery have become order of the day would feel pained or disgusted over the recent show of shame and national disgrace where tens of Nigerians were listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as internet fraudsters (Agba Awo ninu ka te ike).
There is no justification for crimes. There is no excuse for defying clear laws and orders. It is unfortunate that the sad narratives of our country could not rescue Nigerians alleged of fraud or criminal offences from the big eyes of law in other countries. There are two types of criminals in this scenario; home-based criminals and foreign-based criminals.
If the excuses of the arrested home-based criminals were epileptic power supply, low standard of living, unemployment, poverty and non-circulation of resources, I have asked myself this question in my private realm several times, what could be the excuses of arrested Nigerians who live in overseas? Maybe they are just criminals or the failures of our countries chased them to countries where they have no chances or hope of survival than fraud.
The story is different and bitter here. The widespread of internet fraud (Yahoo business) is worrisome and sickening. Students, graduates and apprentices now have this vagrant thought of wealth and insatiable appetite for fresh, immediate and unripe prosperity. I have silently listened to conversation of under 18 teens who want to own big houses and cars before 20 years old and I marvelled at the level of bastardisation of thoughts and unparallel quest for wealth.
I sat down deeply worried about the future of a dying nation where larger percentage of young people who represent the strength and key powers of economy have become so insolent, lazy and irresponsible. Move around at your leisure time and be watchful; at every 100 metres pace, these insolent and lazy boys have turned to something dramatic and evil. The way they dress, drink and smoke truly represent no part of our culture. It’s unfortunate.
According to a study conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2015, more than 1.5million students leave tertiary institutions every year as graduates in a nation where all levels of government lack the capacity to provide 100,000 jobs annually. The sad narrative is this figure multiplies every year and later metamorphosed into a colony of employed ones and this colony keeps on expanding every year because government, political and economic classes see no reason to declare state of emergency or probably delcare this colony as a potential terrorist group.
Most members of this colony who have no means of survival after graduation would seek alternative means. Majority would prefer to do yahoo business rather than picking guns and cutlasses to rob innocent people. It might not be today or soon but one day, this colony will rise and revolt. The attack would be fatal and violent but I doubt if there would be survivors.
However, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology has finally found a sharp voice after years of neglect and the unending unpleasant drama that nearly ruined the school as a result of conflict of interest between the owners has been revived. For this institution, the executive governor of Oyo state has turned into an activist cum overall leader of the state. The young governor of Oyo state is leading the campaign for sole ownership after laying accusing fingers of neglect on his counterpart in Osun state. Only few people understand the yearning and mature ranting of the young governor.
The positive exuberance of political power at younger age is at work and if this rare opportunity slides away, it may take years before such would reappear. I have always pushed the argument forward that Osun state can not be responsible for two state universities because she is very weak financially.
Every state institution in Osun runs independently and no dime is compulsorily forwarded to these institutions as subventions. Heads of these schools are always responsible for the survival of the school and that’s why government always look away from crude and selfish policies of the school managements. Whenever the argument of Osun state government running away from responsibilities in LAUTECH comes to my ears, I feel disturbed and troubled. What expectations do people want from a state whose state institutions have been left untouched for years?
Two years ago, I authored a piece where I described Osun State University as a business enterprise that survives with funds and profits made from elements of the school. The story of total neglect of state institutions in Osun is a sad one and the silence of stakeholders is sickening. The decision of Seyi Makinde to make education available and affordable for young ones is a sole decision that can not work in a jointly owned school. The lamentation of Seyi Makinde via Twitter can only be understood by few who have come very close to LAUTECH issue and her history of neglect.
I was opportuned to intervene in LAUTECH crisis few years ago during the era of unstable academic calendar and inglorious closure of the school. Aregbesola’s administration had no plans for LAUTECH at all and this was very visible during the tough times of the school. Osun state government needs to bury her ego, ask for forgiveness from innocent students of LAUTECH and find a way to relate with Oyo state government to cover their excesses.
Two years ago, a debt of over #5 billion was traced to Aregbesola led administration in Osun state while over #2.6 billion was traced to Ajimobi led administration in Oyo state. The school was completely down as there were no funds to run the school not to talk of payment of lecturers salaries until a study was conducted and tuition fees were increased across levels.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola needs to bury his ego and face reality. The continuous silence of the governor would do the administration and entire state no good at all because they will be consequences. Osun state is a casualty of mismanagement, inflation of project prices and large debts. The only redeemable way is for this administration to speak out now.
Beyond the politics it entails to appoint commissioners and government aides, the greater fear is fund. All available funds are accumulated to pay workers salary every month. Now that excuses are worthy and of premium value, roll them out because they become stale and crude.
I have read the purported press statement released by the supervisor of Ministry of Information, Osun state as a rebutal to Oyo state governor tweets. The statement is unnecessary. Was Oyetola contacted or not? Did Osun pay August subventions or not? For us in Osun state, LAUTECH is an ever-lasting heritage as much as its survival.
The survival of LAUTECH is paramount and its sustainability is vital. This institution has witnessed its worst and suffered greatly in the past so how it would become a cynosure of all eyes as a compensation of years of neglect and untold hardship should be a top priority. If owners could not provide workable solutions to ensure the rapid growth of this institution and Oyo state is ready to take full responsibility of LAUTECH and assist her in taking her place amidst comity of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, I would appeal to Governor Oyetola to ignore people pushing him and take a bow.
Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo is an opinion writer and columnist at WITHIN NIGERIA. He can be contacted via 08164411922 or [email protected]