Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi yesterday disagreed over planned moves by the governor to make the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) multi-campus.
While Makinde told the teeming students who came on a thank-you visit to his office that his administration would soon begin a multi-campus mode of operation, Oba Oyewumi said there is nothing like multi-campus concept in the edict setting up the university.
Makinde said the move is to ensure improved service delivery in terms of teaching, learning, research as well as exploring the economic potentials of the institution in the interest of the people. He said: “”LAUTECH now has the opportunity to be a citadel of learning and research. It has the opportunity to be multi-campus, and you will have it.”
Already, the governor’s statement on the multi-campus concept has started eliciting reactions from the various zones. From Iseyin to Saki, Oyo Town to Okeho, the communities are urging the government to, at least, cite a faculty in their domains.
While the Onjo of Okeho, Oba Rafiu Mustapha is pleading for the citing of a satellite campus in his community, the Iseyin Development Union (IDU) is also appealing to the government for consideration.
However, Oba Oyewunmi, through his Secretary, Toyin Ajamu kicked against making the university a multi-campus institution, saying there is nothing of such in the edit setting up the institution.
He said: “Making LAUTECH a multi-campus institution would affect the economy of Ogbomoso. A university established as a mono-campus has its students and members of staff in one place, which is good for the community.
Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, said the concept of the university should be reviewed to determine whether a multi-campus system would help deliver on its goal to the teeming population of Oyo State.
Akande advised that the university should consider introducing Law as a course because the indigenes of Oyo State have for long been left at the mercy of federal universities while all neighbouring state universities teach the course.
“Efforts should be devoted to design viable multi-stream financing for the university so that its fortune is not entirely left to the state government. The curriculum of the university should also be reviewed to integrate virtual learning in the light of limitations to physical teaching because of the realities of COVID-19”.
Deputy Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Mohammed Abiodun Fadeyi said having LAUTECH as a multi-campus institution would help develop other areas of the state, and would not affect the fortunes of Ogbomoso.
“The Polytechnic, Ibadan, at a point, had four campuses before the creation of Osun State. They are now all autonomous. If we really want other zones to develop, there is nothing wrong in having a multi-campus system.
On his part, legal luminary, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), said if Makinde is after political populism, he could make it a multi-campus university but cautioned that the status and reputation of LAUTECH should be sustained.
Akintola said: “There are people looking at it from the political point of view. There are those looking at the university system from the point of development. There are those looking at it from social point of view. There are those looking at it from economic point of view. There are those looking at it from the political point of view. The ability to manage all these socio-political and ethnic structures of the state is what portrays one as a good leader.