The purported restructuring of the education sector in Osun State has more of
politics, deceit, intrigues, underhand dealings by the government than the real facts,
according to stakeholders, writes correspondent, Richard Akintade

It would continue to be
on record that, Osun State is
an agrarian as well as a civil
service state. However,
it is one of the states in the
southwestern axis of Nigeria
that boasts of its educational
The educational acumen
of the people of this state,
past and present shows that
they have distinguished
themselves in various fields
of human endeavors.
But interestingly, the
accusations and counteraccusations
that have
continued to trail the
programmes and activities
of the current administration
of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
in the state on education has
continued to dog the politics
of the state as many consider
it a paradigm shift from the
It would be recalled that
the first term in office of
Governor Rauf Aregbesola
administration witnessed
educational reforms in what
was called re-classification
of schools. This affected the
public primary and secondary
schools across the state.
The policy was greeted
with lots of protests, most
especially in the urban
communities like Osogbo, Ede, Iwo and Ejigbo.
From primary schools, the
tertiary education is now hit as
stakeholders have continued
to accuse the state government
of planning to merge the stateowned
tertiary institutions to
reduce cost.
These tertiary institutions are
the Colleges of Education in
Ilesa and Ila-Orangun as well as
the state polytechnic in Iree and
College of Technology in Esa-
Oke. As the issue continued to
generate political discourse, the
state government consistently
denied the allegation as untrue
and maintained its plan to
restructure the institutions.
Only recently, precisely
Tuesday, December 8, 2015,
the Presidents of the Alumni
Association of the four stateowned
tertiary institutions
in Osun State, led by Chief
(Mrs) Mobola Odebode and
Pastor P. A. Adelowokan,
Hadji Mutiu Balogun, Mr.
Ayo Fakeye, addressed a press
conference in the state, where
they raised the alarm over what
they described as “merging,
streamlining, restructuring
or privatisation’, saying, the
“omen does not suggest good
tidings for the students that
are undergoing training now
and the prospective ones to
be trained and that there is no
how the policy will not affect
negatively the workforce of
these institutions if it is carried
“We believe that a government
of the people should see to
how more jobs will be created,
not supervising a reduction in
workforce.” The association expressed dismay at attempts
by some beneficiaries of the
administration, tagging their
genuine agitation as politically
motivated. This, the association
said, they have always been
wary about as in a political
environment like Osun; it is
easy for the sycophants in
power to read politics into
issue that are purely nonpolitical.
This, they argued,
has continued to inform the
steps they have been taking as
their members in government
have been protecting their
narrow personal interest at the
expense of public interest.
They alleged that most of
them found it difficult to
identify with their course
because of their political
positions or opportunities,
saying, “nothing in life is
permanent except changes.”
According to the association,
“part of the frustrations
we envisaged is already
manifesting. It is public
knowledge that the state
government last week sacked
250 workers in Osun State
Colleges of Education in Ila
Orangun and Ilesa.”
These institutions, according
to observers, already lack
academic and non-academic
staff for the past five years.
But responding to this
allegation, the Chief of Staff
to the Governor, Alhaji
Adegboyega Oyetola, said it
was not the state government
that sacked the workers. The
workers were contract staff
engaged by the governing council of these institutions.
It is the governing council
of these institutions that
has dispensed away with
their services, as the state
government does not interfere
in the internal running of the
institutions. As contract staff,
the governing council and
the individuals affected have
all constitutional right to call
it quits as there is no formal
employment agreement
between the two.
The Alumni further alleged
that, “over 50,000 students
who have been offered
admission to study various
courses in the four tertiary
institutions owned by the
Osun State government
might forfeit their admissions
as the Joint Admission and
Matriculation Board, has
allegedly delisted the schools
from its website because the
Osun State government had
written to JAMB to delist
the affected institutions for
the next two years in order
to give way for its proposed
restructuring institutions.”
They accused the state
government of refusal to
listen to the voice of reasoning
on the rumored merger of
the four tertiary institutions
as they said that Governor
Rauf Aregbesola is trying
to obliterate polytechnic
education in the state.
Odebode said most of the
affected admission seekers
to these institutions had been
offered provisional admission
for 2015/2016 academic
sessions but were surprised
to find out that their potential
schools were no longer on the
JAMB portals.
Her words: “it is painful
that despite pleas from
traditional rulers, host
communities, political
parties, students, market
women, Alumni Associations
and well meaning Nigerians,
the government has refused
to listen to the voice of
reasoning on the matter. As
products of the institutions,
we have resolved to continue
the struggle to protect the
existence of these institutions.
Odebode also disclosed that
the state government had
ordered the four institutions
to advertise admission for
vocational and remedial
studies, thus querying
the government on why
polytechnic should play the
role that a technical college
could play more effectively.
She said “its’ rather ironical
that at a period that China
is converting universities
to polytechnics to advance
the technological education
as a key for the growth and velopment of the country,
the state of Osun government is
trying to obliterate polytechnic
education.” We are so confident
that the government wants
to destroy the whole system
for their private business
benefits. We are fully aware of
correspondences between some
private institutions approaching
the affected institutions to divert
their admitted students to their
various schools,” Odebode
The alumni associations
also demanded that the state
government withdraws
the letter written to JAMB
to allow admission to the
affected institutions and allow
candidates who have been
offered provisional admission
to continue their programmes.
Similarly, very recently,
masquerades led protest in Esa-
Oke, Obokun local government
of Osun State against the alleged
plan by the state government to
merge the tertiary institutions
in the state.
The protesters who are
indigenes of the town prevented
lecturers and students of Osun
State College of Technology,
Esa-Oke from entering the
campus. They insisted that
they would protest against any
plan to merge the college with
any other institution, warning
that the move may have untold
The Owamiran of Esa-Oke,
Oba Adeyemi Adediran,
stated that the protest was
peaceful and staged to prevent
Governor Rauf Aregbesola from
embarking on the merger.
The monarch urged the
governor to shelve the plan,
if there is such plan, saying
that indigenes of the town will
prevent any attempt to merge
the institution while residents of
Iree in Boripe local government
had penultimate week protested
against the alleged plan to
merge Osun State Polytechnic,
Iree with Esa-Oke.
It would also be recalled that
the Alumni Association of Osun
State College of Education,
Ila-Orangun on Wednesday,
October 7, 2015 kicked against
the alleged plans of the state
government to merge the college
with any other institution,
warning that the move may
have untold consequences.
The association accused the
state government of planning
to merge the college with Osun
State College of Education,
Also at a press conference
in Osogbo, the state capital,
the National President of the
association, Mr Ayobami Fakeye
said, “the Osun State College of
Education, Ila Orangun Alumni
Association, condemned in its
entirety the purported plan
of the Osun State government
to merge our great College
with the Osun State College of
Education, Ilesa.”
He added that, “The Ila
Alumni is of the opinion that
the state government should not
even contemplate the merging
of the college with any other
institution because the Alumni
sees the move as retrogressive,
totally anti-progress, anti-peace,
anti-development, ill-advised
and capable of plunging the
state into more chaos than it is
currently experiencing.
According to the association,
“at the inception in September
1979, the College admitted 150
students, at present there are
about 15,000 students studying
various courses leading to
the award of the Nigerian
Certificate in Education, NCE,
and the University of Uyo
Degree in the Humanities,
Natural and Social Sciences,
Applied Arts, Agricultural
Science Education, Business
Education, Primary Education
and Technical Education.
The College currently
has twenty-eight academic
programmes and there are 157
academic staff and 75 senior
administrative staff and 147
junior staff. The association
maintained that the move
would deny the students of
further education, stressing
that over 379 staff would be
rendered jobless.
The association also
expressed its lack of trust in
the administration of Governor
Rauf Aregbesola, noting
that his action in the past
has justified their claims.
Recalling that the demolition
of Fakunle Comprehensive
High School, Osogbo and the
single uniform for all students
and pupils in the state primary
and secondary schools started
as a rumour before the state
government implemented it,
the association added that “we
do not want to assume that the
purported move by the Osun
State government to merge the
colleges is a mere rumour.
“The Osun State College of
Education, Ila-Orangun is a
good legacy inherited by the
state government of the day, if
the government cannot add to
the development of the state,
it should not destroy what the
good citizens of the state see
as their pride,” the association
They however, hinted that
the association would petition
the House of Assembly,
adding “it is not only illegal
to transfer some courses,
close down some courses or
merge the college with any
other institution in the state,
it is also unconstitutional and
unlawful since there was a law
duly passed by the Osun State
House of Assembly that gave
name to the college.
As it is now, Osun State is
divided along the political
divide, one in support for and
the other against restructuring
the state-owned tertiary
institutions. Political pundits
have continued to view this
step as part of issue that
would inform campaigns as
the state match towards the
2018 governorship election.
Would the different
stakeholders continue to trust
the administration of Governor
Rauf Aregbesola as the issue is
daily becoming contentious?
And what becomes the fate
and political suave of the four
host communities and their
benefiting environs? Can the
state government persuade
and make the people believe
that it has a genuine desire in
its plan restructuring of these
tertiary institutions? What
is the opposition’s position
on the issue? Or, has the
opposition gone into oblivion
with the Buhari’s political
Tsunami in Nigeria in the last
presidential election?
Our checks however,
revealed that compilation
of names of the staff of the
affected institutions have
commenced by the state
government for another mass
retrenchment exercise. Will
Rauf and the APC survive

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