Lecturers of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology have accused Osun State’s Governor Rauf Aregbesola of hypocrisy over his appeal to workers to reopen the school for the sake of the students.
The school has been mostly shut since last year over the failure of the two owner states to fund its operations.
But on Monday, at a ceremony to receive students of Osun State University who returned from Ukraine after completing their programme in Medicine, Mr. Aregbesola appealed to LAUTECH workers to go back to work.
Reacting to the appeal through a statement on Tuesday, the lecturers accused the governor of “playing the ostrich” and insensitivity to the plight of LAUTECH students.
In a statement signed by chairman of the school’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Biodun Olaniran, they said LAUTECH cannot resume without the resolution of the issues that led to the closure of the university.
They said the governor was being insincere in expressing concern over the plight of the students, alleging that he had declined several requests by the students to meet with him.
“At what point did he become the champion of LAUTECH students that he refused to see and address despite efforts made by them to interact with him personally over their plight?” the lecturers said in the statement.
“The Ila episode where he sent the students away like lepers is a graphic point in case here. Therefore, the governor of Osun State should stop behaving like the ostrich which buries its head in the sand, thinking that its rump is hidden from view.”
The lecturers said they have been poorly paid since December 2013 but remained at work despite this.
“May we also ask our Governor, who is asking for sacrifice on the part of LAUTECH workers; what further sacrifice does he demand from hapless workers who have remained on their duty posts since December 2013 when salaries had been epileptic, principally due to his total withholding of salary subvention to the University.
“He, through his insincerity to LAUTECH, has brought the University to its knees.
“A yawning contradiction in the speech clearly exposes Ogbeni’s hypocrisy. At a stage, he clearly stated that he is financially incapacitated to fund LAUTECH, only for him to end up talking about auditing as a pre-condition for release of funds.”
The lecturers stopped work in protest against poor funding of the university that had led to their salaries not being paid.
LAUTECH chapter of ASUU has also joined in the ongoing nationwide strike declared on Monday by the national body of the union, thereby prolonging the crisis of the university.