Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, from different zones of the country on Friday thronged to Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to protest what they called poor funding and abysmal welfare of staff of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
The union, during the protest, took a swipe at the governments of Osun and Oyo, the dual owners of the university, for abandoning their responsibilities to the institution, thereby making academic activities highly unstable.
Displaying placards with various inscriptions such as: “Oyo/Osun, Don’t Play Politics with the Lives of Our Students, “Aregbesola/Ajimobi, Do Not Kill the Best State University in Nigeria, “Ajimobi and Aregbesola Haba! Must LAUTECH Die?,” the protesters commenced procession from Freedom park, and terminated it at Government secretariat, Abere.
Speaking with newsmen at the NUJ Correspondents’ chapel, Osogbo, the coordinator of Akure zone of ASUU, Prof. Alex Odiyi, said that the lackadaisical posture of the owner states has created serious problem for the institution.
He added that the protest was simultaneously going on in Osun and Oyo to compel the two states to do the needful and be alive to their responsibilities.
Odiyi accused both Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, and his Oyo counterpart, Abiola Ajimobi, of reneging on the Memorandum of Agreement signed with the union before the last strike was called off.
According to him, “It is unfortunate that the two state Governors have allowed things to degenerate to this level.
“The people who are at the helms of affairs acquired former education free of charge. Many of them emerged Governors and became very wasteful at the expense of the people.”
In his remarks, the Chairperson of ASUU at UNIBEN, Prof. Iyasele decried alleged commercialization of university education across the country, while the Branch Secretary of ASUU in LAUTECH, Comrade Toyin Abegunrin, expressed displeasure over the general neglect of education in Nigeria.
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