Hundreds of students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso on Wednesday stormed Osogbo, the Osun State capital and staged a public protest against non-payment of lecturers and other workers of the university for the past nine months.
The irate students, who were armed with placards with various inscriptions, sang anti-government songs blaming Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his counterpart in Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola for the crisis.
The protesters said they had lost time due to the incessant strikes in the university while calling for payment of subventions to the university by the owner states in the interest of the future of the thousands of students there.
The Coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students in the South West, Me. Saheed Afolabi, while speaking with journalists during the protest said the attitude of the two governors to the schools had almost ruined the future of many students.
The NANS Coordinator said, “The governors of the two states must show commitment to education and they must take the issue of LAUTECH seriously. The university was closed for about nine months in 2016 the workers were begged to resume and they did with assurances that they would be paid but after paying one of two months, the governors stopped paying subventions.
” They have not shown in any way that they have the interest of the students at heart and that is not fair. They should let the public know whatever they want to do with the university.”
The Coordinator of the LAUTECH Students, Lawal Musbau, said the university has lost its glory due to poor funding by the governors of Oyo and Osun States.
He stated that the students had come to Osogbo to stage the protest in order to further draw the attention of the governor to the plight of the students of the institution.
Musbau said lecturers were now doing skeletal services in the university because they had not been paid for eight months.
He said. ” Even since the ascension of the current government, LAUTECH has not only degraded in value, norms, and standard but has also lost dignity amidst fellow varsities due to political instability and poor funding as caused by the two visitors, Oyo and Osun: Governor Rauf Aregbsola and his counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi
“After a nine months strike action embarked on by the school’s unions, due to the non-release of monthly subventions, the two governors are yet to be alive and active to their responsibilities as the founding fathers, after spending three months in the school, the ASUU and the Joint Action Committee of the university are on partial strike. The situation has stagnated every student in a spots ice 2015 till now especially two years for a semester
“Some of our agitations are the immediate reopening of the school for academic activities; payment of subventions to enable workers to commence work.
” The governor ( Aregbesola) should endeavour to pay up to what his Oyo State counterpart paid to avoid misunderstanding in subsequent payment. While the audit is going on, the governor should pay three or six-month salary to ensure a quick resumption of academic activities.”