LAUTECH students embark on mass protest demand re opening of the institution
Students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, yesterday, Monday, January 9, 2017 came out in the numbers to protest the continous closure of the institution.
Prior to the protests, the students gathered at the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mokola to address journalists, calling for the immediate and unconditional reopening of the varsity.
Daily Post reports that the Secretary of the umbrella body of the students movements and organisations in the campus, The Save Education and Reopen LAUTCH Coalition (SERAL-C), Comrade Monsurudeen Omoakin, who is a 400 level Applied Physics student, demanded that all outstanding salaries and allowances owed to their lecturers be paid with immediate effect, without any increments in the school fees as has been rumoured.
Omoakin said that the enough was enough with the closure of the school since June 13, 2016, to call all the stakeholders to a round table and settle the lingering crisis affecting the institution. He held that the continued closure of the institution caused by the inability of the two owner states (Oyo and Osun) to pay the salaries and allowances of their lecturers, is simply unacceptable.
He said, “Initially, most students and the general public were made to believe that the closure was due to students’ agitation against unprincipled interference of the management during the conduct of the Students Union election held a few weeks earlier.
“This was the kind of erroneous belief under which most students were made to groan for months until we began to understand that the closure was a direct consequence of the inability of the two state governments to pay the salaries and allowances of workers in the school.”
Omoakin noted that the 26-year-old institution which was once one of the best state universities in the country is unable to boast of a single hostel accommodation, modern and adequate learning facilities or laboratories.
Daily Post reports that he demanded,”Immediate and unconditional re-opening of LAUTECH, Immediate payment of all outstanding salaries and allowances of striking workers; no to fee hike, improved funding and democratic management of LAUTECH now and the immediate restoration of LAUTECH Students’ union.”
Concerning the purported meeting of some student leaders with the Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, another student, Comrade Israel Fawole said the movement, “SERAH-C dissociates itself from this meeting and hold that such a meeting with NANS leadership which has never had any prior and democratic discussion with the rank and file of students of LAUTCH lacks any legitimacy and its outcome is not binding on LAUTCH students.”
As earlier reported, Governor Ajimobi, in a statement made available to journalists on Friday, January 6, 2017, via his Media Aide, Mr Yomi Layinka, assured the students and staff that the institution would be reopened before the end of this month.