What do you when the government you stood in a long queue under the sun to elect into power suddenly starts to behave as if it is not interested in the future and progress of more than thirty thousand of its own citizens but prefers to show off in “grandiose pat yourself in the back schemes” instead?
What do you do when your own government, a government which labels itself “progressive”, does not feel there is something wrong with all the tertiary institutions that it owns being on strike? What progress is there to be made when a government believes that it has a legitimate excuse for not paying the lecturers in one of its premier institutions for close to a year now, pushing thirty thousand students into the streets? What do you do when you realize that the states concerned in this absurd tragedy of errors are states in the southwest region, a region which prides itself as one who places the highest premium on education and learning?
The answer to all these questions is “you take your destiny back and in your own hands.” That is precisely what some of the members of the alumni of Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso have done with the #fundlautech initiative. It is a sad reality we have to confront that a university which has been running for more than twenty-five years and which was once one of the most prestigious and highly rated universities in the country is under lock and key, yet the two states who are most concerned in the matter, which in a saner clime should be cause for declaration of a state of emergency (given that more than thirty thousand students have been out there doing nothing for eleven months now), are passing the buck to each other like a ping pong ball, each. The funny thing is that both governments somehow believe that it has a legitimate excuse for the calculated and intentional destruction of an institution of learning that should be at par with the best that the nation has to offer.
The case of LAUTECH has always been a curious one, indeed I argued In this piece I wrote for IbadanInsider.com some months ago that the long term solution to this current impasse is for the situation to be owned by a single entity, because in its current state, the LAUTECH university community will always be the victim whenever the two current owners begin to bicker over who should do what,more soo that both states now have their own exclusively owned university.
This is why the #fundlautech initiative by the former students of the institution is all the more laudable. As the Yoruba will say “The elder should not be in the market and see a baby’s head lopsided on its mother’s back and not say or do anything about it.” The even more surprising thing that makes the whole initiative even more heartwarming is that the people behind the #fundlautech intitiative are not political (so it can not be argued that they are looking to gain some political capital on it). Such altruism is uncommon in a country where even the government is insensitive to the needs of its electorate, but an initiative like #FundLautech is inevitable in a state where the government somehow believes that is can bury its head under the “sand” of “no money” and then hope a problem which it created for itself by itself will somehow go away
The truth is this, even if these noble men who have taken it upon themselves to try and safeguard the future want to use #fundlautech for political gain, so far it achieves it main aim of getting these students back to school, who gives a damn? If a political party gives that much priority to educating its future leaders I would vote for that party anyday. Besides, what rights does the current government and its agents have to complain about groups with political agendas when they cannot even fulfill their own basic responsibilities? Governments that cannot do anything while university students are out of school for a year, are those ones even governments?
Before I end this piece, I want to remind the “constituted authorities” who have sat back and watched the degeneration in the educational institution that they won’t be around to bluff and brag through stuff forever. Those governors who use state funds to build “technical universities” when a whole university is under lock and key and those other governors who haven’t still said anything about the current malaise affect an institution the spitefully refused to give away years ago, but now can’t be arsed to support. I want to remind them that they can build houses and roads and pat themselves in the back all they want, but it is all those students that you have tried to mortgage their destinies for your own selfish ends that will sell those houses and destroy those roads. For every member of the #fundlautech teamwho has risen to save an educational institution from certain death, you are very much appreciated and your good deeds will never be forgotten either. As the Yoruba say “The man that defeacates in the mosque has his reward, the man who saw the feaces and quickly cleaned it up, also has his own reward”. That brings me to the biggest question of all. Which one would you want to be remembered as?
My name is Adebayo Adegbite and I support #FundLAUTECH
You can contribute to this initiative too find out how on on the official #fundLAUTECH website