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Ogun: NO ETHNIC AGENDA PLEASE

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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.

The last administration neither appointed a Governing Council to oversee its effective take-off nor put in place requisite academic and non-academic structures to run or administer the institution. There is also no record that efforts were made to source for students for the institution. In truth, MAUSTECH, from what we inherited from the last administration, only exists in name.

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.

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.

 e-signed
Modele Şarafa-Yusuf
Special Adviser (Information)

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