By: Olajide Toriola
Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has charged members of the newly constituted governing council of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, to restore the fading glory of the institution, even if it will take a ‘miracle’ to accomplish.
The Governor gave the charge during the inauguration of the members, in company with his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, at the Executive Council chambers of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, on Monday.
Although the task may appear daunting, given the crises confronting the college, the governor said he was confident that the new members were capable of turning its fortunes around judging by their impeccable pedigree.
The institution, which had been grounded for more than one year due to the industrial action by its academic and non-academic staff over their welfare and salary arrears, is co-owned by Osun and Oyo States.
Listed among the new council members were a former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi (Chairman and Pro-Chancellor), Prof. Lai Olurode, Prof. Olamide Adedokun, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), Mr. Isiaka Olagoke, Mr. Tise Adenipekun and Mr. Bade Adesina.
Aregbesola commended the immediate past council members for what he called their exemplary contributions to the growth of the institution in the face of financial constraints, while charging the new team to do everything humanly possible to surpass their feat.
He said, “From your CV, we can see that you are highly distinguished. You were selected based on your pedigree. Therefore, we expect extraordinary performance.
“Those you are succeeding did their very best in administering the institution and we are using this medium to appreciate their immense contributions to the success story of LAUTECH.
“LAUTECH must again emerge as the best state university in Nigeria. That is what we have called you to come and do. We want you to perform another miracle like the first miracle of Jesus Christ by turning the comatose LAUTECH to the best of all state universities in the country.”
In his remarks, Ajimobi admitted that there were challenges facing the institution, which he said the two states had been working round the clock to surmount.
For the umpteenth time, the governor appealed to the workers of the university to sheathe their swords and embrace peace by allowing the auditors detailed to carry out a forensic audit of finances and the workforce to perform the task without any hindrance.
Ajimobi restated what he called the irrevocable commitment of the two states to the joint ownership and funding of LAUTECH, irrespective of the current challenges threatening the union.
He said “These are eminently qualified individuals. They have been given the mandate not only to resurrect LAUTECH, but to reposition it.
“The visitation panel recently set up to look into issues affecting the institution came up with some recommendations; one of which is to put in place this governing council, which we have done now.
“The second recommendation is on sustainability of LAUTECH. I can assure you that we are recommitting ourselves to that. Whatever it takes, we will reopen LAUTECH; we will ensure that we carry out a forensic audit of individuals and finances of the institution.
“Let me again use this opportunity to plead with the workers to please allow reason to prevail. There is nowhere in the world where workers will prevent employers to audit an institution or company. We are pleading that they allow us reposition LAUTECH.”
Responding to the appointment on behalf of other members, the council chairman thanked the governors for giving him and others the opportunity to serve at what he called a critical stage in the life of the institution.
Afolabi assured the visitors that the new council would put in extra efforts to surpass the expectations of the stakeholders, adding that the confidence reposed in them would not be betrayed.