Look elsewhere, party affiliations have failed to divide SW Govs, Makinde tells ‘naysayers’

Uba Group

AYO ESAN

GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has told those he described as naysayers to look for other things to divide South West Governors, saying politics and party affiliations have failed to do the job.

He warned detractors trying to drive a wedge between him and other governors to quit, adding that such persons should look elsewhere.

According to him, South West governors will not be distracted from cooperating to ensure development of the zone and Nigeria.

Governor Makinde stated these when he paid a thank you visit to his counterpart in Osun State, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, over the amicable resolution of the age-long ownership crisis which had rocked the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso.

Makinde added that Oyo and Osun States demonstrated that an amicable resolution of the seeming intractable ownership crisis was possible and that the decision would ensure that LAUTECH returned to the pinnacle of excellence, which it was renowned for, years back.

Makinde commended Governor Oyetola for the statemanly role he played in the process.

This was as the Osun State Governor also expressed confidence that Makinde would implement the Memorandum of Understanding on the resolution of the LAUTECH ownership to the letter.

According to him, the Oyo State Governor is a man of honour.

In his speech, Governor Makinde maintained that a lot of people had been reading a wrong meaning to the recent dissolution of the joint ownership of LAUTECH, describing it as being against the spirit of regional cooperation.

He said, however, that the decision by Oyo and Osun States to have a divorce over LAUTECH ownership would pay off in the long run.

“To the naysayers, they should look for other things that will divide us. Politics has not divided us. Party affiliations did not do that. LAUTECH did not do it. And we will continue to cooperate for the progress and prosperity of both states, our zone, and our country,” he said.

According to Governor Makinde, the visit to Osogbo was to appreciate Oyetola for the role he played in the process that led to the amicable resolution of the issue, noting that without Oyetola playing that role, the problem could not have been solved.

He said, “I came here to basically thank my brother, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, for the role that he played, which eventually led to us being able to resolve the LAUTECH issue.

“There have been a lot of thoughts, insinuations out there in the Press but what we have both done is to put the interest of our children that are students of that university over and above politics, partisanship and ego.

“Yes, somebody said that we failed because, in the spirit of regional integration, oneness in the region, we should have been able to jointly manage the institution. And I said that position was well-thought-out and lucid but they missed the point.”

He explained that the joint ownership of LAUTECH led the university to experience challenges and setbacks, noting that the need to find a lasting solution to the challenges led to the dissolution of the joint ownership.

He said, “The point is, the joint ownership, over the years, has become really challenging in terms of funding, in terms of even the stakeholders in there. When you go into LAUTECH, you have Oyo Forum, you have Osun Forum. They come in to whisper to me and they also come in to whisper to the governor here.

“In the middle of that, the institution was closed down for several years. And I said to those people that there are several ways to skin a rat but what is important is, we want to get results. We want to get our children back to school. We want to get the university to a point where it can fulfill its original mandate, which is to train graduates that will be impactful in our environment, in our state, in our region and in our country.”

In his remarks, the Osun State Governor said that the disengagement of Osun from LAUTECH ownership was done in a painstaking process midwifed by the NUC, which lasted for almost a year, noting that the decision was taken in the interest of students, staff of the university and all stakeholders.

He maintained that he and Makinde put politics aside to address the ownership issue in a way that would take care of the interest of the two states.

He noted that while Oyo would have sole ownership of the institution, the chances of students and staff of Osun origin would be protected.

“It was good enough that we have decided to have joint ownership of the University but, sometimes, you have issues of funding, management. We have a marriage that is not working, you don’t keep it until the marriage dies naturally. You seek divorce voluntarily and it is a win-win situation for the two states,” Oyetola said.