By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The Government of Oyo State said on Friday that it has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the illegal demolition of classrooms in two state-owned Primary schools within Ibadan metropolis.
Information had reached the Government early on Thursday to the effect that some unknown individuals in Egbeda and Ona-Ara Local Government Areas of the State illegally entered the premises of two primary schools and demolished blocks of classrooms.
The Governor had promised to prosecute the perpetrators.
The statement indicated that some individuals had unlawfully entered the premises of the Community Primary School, Ayepe, in Egbeda Local Government Area and Methodist Primary School, Gangansi in Ona-Ara Local Government Area, where they demolished blocks of classroom without authorization.
The Government described the act as illegal, untoward and totally condemnable, adding that it would not sit down and watch saboteurs destroy public properties for whatever reasons.
According to the statement, the individuals who destroyed the classrooms got no approval from the State Universal Basic Education Board, which holds the schools in trust for the Government and the people.
“While the State Government is desirous of working with good-spirited members of the society in managing public infrastructure, the administration will not condone lawlessness and failure to adhere to due process,” the statement read.
The statement added: “The Government frowns on the demolition of blocks of classrooms at the Community Primary School, Ayepe and Methodist Primary School, Gangansi in Egbeda and Ona-Ara Local Government Areas respectively by some hoodlums purportedly on the order of a National Assembly member from the state.
“The act, to say the least, is untoward, illegal and totally condemnable. No one, no matter how highly placed, is allowed to unlawfully enter a public school premises and demolish buildings under whatever guise without approval from Government.
“We see this as an act of provocation and lawlessness and as a Government; we will not sit down and watch some lawless individuals have their ways in sabotaging Government by destroying school properties or embarking on renovations of public property using lawless means simply for political showmanship.
“Governor Seyi Makinde has mandated the relevant security agencies to commence investigation into the circumstances that led to the demolition of the classrooms in the two aforementioned schools.
“The Governor has also given directives that the law enforcement should bring the perpetrators to justice so as to serve as deterrents to other individuals who may want to follow such path of lawlessness.
“Governor Makinde has said it times and again that his administration is open to working with public-spirited individuals to bring about massive improvement in the infrastructure in the education and other sectors in the State. But that partnership must follow due process.
“Any individual or politician with the intention to collaborate in building infrastructure in Oyo State schools should know that the schools are public properties under the trust of the Government and they should approach the Government for appropriate approvals.
“Anything short of this is lawlessness and as a Government that has sworn to defend the laws of the land, the Government of Oyo State is ever ready to put every tendency towards lawlessness under the check of the long arms of the law.”