Tuesday, July 23, 2019 7:30 am
Adejoke Adeleye, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has denied speculations that he is planning to relocate Moshood Abiola Science University of Technology (MAUSTECH) to another location.
The speculations began following the after the Governor forwarded a bill to back up the establishment of the institution to the State House of Assembly.
Also, it would be recalled that a group, under the aegis of Abeokuta Club in reaction to the bill had warned that MAUSTECH should not be relocated.
But the governor, in a statement released by his Senior Special Adviser on Information, Mrs Modele Sarafa denied entertaining any thought of relocating the institution.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Ogun State Government has been drawn to a press statement credited to the President of Abeokuta Club, Engr Tokunbo Odebunmi, on the committee set up to look into the operational modalities of Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology, Abeokuta and Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia, which were established by the immediate past government.
“The statement went further to impugn the decision of the government to resolve the impasse at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) and bring temporary respite to the already traumatised thousands of students receiving tuition there.
“These students, our children studying at MAPOLY, the future of our society, were made the victims of the industrial dispute that arose over the identity crisis the new status engendered for that institution and no responsible government will allow its future generation to be toyed with in that manner. That informed our decision to allow academic activities to resume at the institution pending the submission of the report of the committee set up on the issue.
“What, however, has alarmed the government more in the statement by the Abeokuta Club is the tribal colouration given to government’s decision. The allegation that the government is executing a hidden agenda in favour of any group or people in the state is grossly unfair.
“But for the avoidance of doubt, the following clarification on the action taken so far on Moshood Abiola Univedsity of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH) and Ogun State Polytechnic Ipokia needs to be made:
“This government inherited a protracted crisis at the MAPOLY over its status that had been changed to MAUSTECH by the last administration. Even MAUSTECH which was so established has nothing on ground over a year after its creation. There were no facilities to accommodate its upgrade to a degree-awarding institution.
“In the twilight of the last administration, a Governing Council was emplaced headed by a renowned son of Ogun state, Mr Oye Odukale. However like the University, it only exists in name.
“Requisite academic and non-academic structures to run and administer the institution were not put in place. There is also no record that efforts were made to source for students for the institution.
“But all this while, academic activities had stalled at MAPOLY. The staff and students were in limbo as the law establishing it had been reviewed to pave the way for the emergence of MAUSTECH. All assets of Mapoly, it was learnt, were transferred to MAUSTECH further emasculating MAPOLY.
“Therefore, for the recent directive of the government that academic activities be returned to MAPOLY to be effective, the law establishing it has to be re-enforced.
“But while we understand and appreciate the clamour by groups and regions in our dear state for even representation of government projects, the decision taken so far by government is also to respect that clamour and ensure that the resources of the state are evenly distributed and judiciously appropriated. That informed the setting up of a committee on the issue.
“The committee was set up, in view of what was inherited on the status of the two institutions, to ascertain the current operational status of the institutions; identify issues and challenges related to the establishment and operations of the two institutions; determine the viability and sustainability of the institutions on a long-term basis; and identify any other issue(s) related to the objectives of the assignment; and make recommendations for the consideration of the government.
“These, we believe, are clear enough assignments given to that committee devoid of tribal bias or ethnic ambush from government as being suggested by the Abeokuta Club.
“The committee headed by Professor Segun Awonusi is still sitting and is yet to conclude on its assignment. Therefore, we see no reason for anyone to be pre-emptive of the committee’s report or resort to issuing statement that could cause in-amity in the state.
“To be sure, this government of Prince Dapo Abiodun was engineered by the collective will of the people of Ogun State. It is a government that was birthed by the good people of Egba, Ijebu, Remo, Awori, Yewa and others. It is, therefore, unthinkable to accuse such a government of promoting primordial tribal agenda in a sophisticated state like our dear Ogun State.”