- By Raji Adebayo, Ibadan
Following apologies and promises by the students’ representatives that their colleagues will turn a new leaf, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has ordered immediate reopening of the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo.
The governor, who gave the directive shortly after meeting with the students’ leaders, in his office, on Wednesday, admonished them against unruly acts that might truncate the peace of the state or tantamount to disrespect for constituted authorities.
The state government had through a statement by the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, shut the college on June 2 in the wake of violent protests by some students of the institution.
Warning the students against a recurrence, the governor said dialogue and engagement were civilized ways of resolving grievances and issues bordering on welfare, no matter how knotty they might be.
According to Ajimobi, “Now that you have come to apologize for that violent protest that led to destruction of properties, I hereby order the immediate reopening of your school. I want to plead with you to always respect your parents, lecturers and constituted authorities of your institution. That is what can make a country grow.
“In case you don’t know a constituted authority is a body that has been set up with the responsibility of delivering certain things on behalf of others. But we have lost our values to the extent that students roundly abuse teachers and authority; it is condemnable.
“We have forgiven you. But you must turn a new leaf. We are grooming you to become future leaders, but not through acts of hooliganism, destruction or any form of violent protest over issues that will still be resolved through dialogue and engagement.”
The governor used the occasion to restate his appeal to the stakeholders at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, (LAUTECH) to allow unfettered access of auditors engaged to peruse the records of the institution, which, he said, would pave the way for the reopening of the institution. .
The Provost of the EMACOED, Dr. Rasaq Adefabi, who was in company with the students, appreciated what he called the fatherly role played by the governor in resolving the debacle instigated by the students’ unbecoming behaviour.
He disclosed that the school management had set up a counselling unit saddled with the responsibility of attending to the welfare and concerns of the student.
Adefabi pledged that the school authority would take proactive measures to nip future violent acts in the bud in order to forestall unwarranted destruction of property and disruption of the institution’s academic calendar.
The President of EMACOED Students’ Union Government, Theophilus Oladeji, said that he was glad about the reopening of the school and appreciated what he called the kind gesture of the governor in overlooking the students’ exuberance and transgressions.
Meanwhile, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has also inaugurated new boards for the state’s Civil Service Commission, Universal Basic Education Board, Teaching Service Commission and Hospitals Management Board
The inauguration ceremony took place at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, on Wednesday.
The Governor implored the new appointees to ensure fairness to all in the discharge of their duties, while he also advised them to embrace godliness in their service to humanity.
Ajimobi reminded them that they were chosen among other eminently qualified people in strict recognition of their track records, past contributions to the state, competence and personal integrity.
“The expectations of our people from this government are huge and rightly so. They expect that we must be willing and able to put in place policies, strategies and programmes that can ensure that our state regains its pioneering and pacesetter status.
“I expect you to bring forth new innovations capable of improving the lot of our people in different areas. For those of you saddled with education and health responsibilities, you have to do more because you have critical assignments ahead of you.
“Those of you who are to work in the education sector must work conscientiously with the schools governing boards system to ensure that we lift the morale of the school authorities and students.
“Similarly, those of you in the health sector must work with your colleagues across the board to ensure that all critical stakeholders are encouraged to key in into the state’s Health Insurance Scheme.”
Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, Mrs. Aderonke Makanjuola, pledged to deliver on the mandate entrusted to them, while she assured the governor that it would be a new dawn for primary education in the state.
Apart from part-time and full-time members, the civil service commission would be chaired by Mr. Doja Oladele; while the SUBEB will be chaired by Mrs. Aderonke Makanjuola on a full-time basis.
The teaching service commission is to be chaired by Alhaji Bashiru Ajibade; while the HMB is headed by Dr. Adegoke Adeyemo, on a full-time basis.