Students and workers of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, which was shut about seven months ago, have been told to prepare for resumption by month end.
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who announced this on Friday, said he had closed ranks with his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, to break the logjam in the interest of stakeholders.
LAUTECH is jointly owned by Oyo and Osun, the two states that constituted old Oyo State before Osun was carved out in 1991.
A statement by the governor’s Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Yomi Layinka, said the decision was reached after Ajimobi’s meeting with the national, zonal and state leadership of the students’ unions on Friday evening.
The team was led by the Senate President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Salam Olajide; General Secretary, NANS, South-West zone, Olanrewaju Oloja and General Secretary, Joint Campus Committee, NANS, Oyo State, Farouk Musa.
The governor said the decision to reopen the institution was reached after another round of discussions and commitments by stakeholders, on Friday, which, he said, would be heartwarming to the striking workers.
The university had been grounded since June 9, last year, when its branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU); Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) stopped work in protest against non-payment of accumulated salaries.
The statement reads: “The governor regretted the fact that despite all efforts at persuading the striking workers to resume they refused to yield grounds.
“He, however, announced that the schools would be reopened on or before February 1 going by the level of his discussions with his Osun State counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
“With today’s pronouncement, it is hoped that all stakeholders, including the management, staff and students of LAUTECH, will begin to prepare for full resumption of academic and non-academic activities in the university.”
The governor also ordered the immediate reopening of the five secondary schools shut in the wake of pupils’ attack on some schools in protest against cancellation of automatic promotion in public schools.
The affected schools are Isale Oyo Community High School, Oyo; Anglican Methodist Secondary School, Oyo; Oba Adeyemi High School, Oyo; Ojoo High School, Ibadan; and Community Secondary School, Iyana Idi Ose, Ibadan.
Ajimobi said he took the decision in deference to pleas by stakeholders and respected members of the society that the schools be reopened.