Since Ondo state has started owing months of salaries, I have taken a second thought and reduce the level of criticism I do make on the person of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
In my widest imagination, I could not foresee Ondo state owing her workers months of salaries with huge resources available at her disposal coupled with the fact that the state enjoys special 13 percent oil derivative funds and the administration of Dr. Mimiko inherited about thirty-six billion naira cash from his predecessor Dr. Agagu.
This as it may, that many other states are also caught in this trap, judgment of reasoning I think place a responsibility on all right thinking individuals to ask a simple question that; could the criticism on the Governor of the state of Osun on the finances of the state be justified?
Yesterday, precisely 30th December, 2016 I had opportunity to interact with Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and a lot of issues were brought to public domain.
Though, those issues were very educative and anyone who intend to venture into politics must learn from such experiences, but the one that drew my attention which I also believe has direct impact on virtually everyone in the country is the issue of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology which for over six month has been shut down.
The Governor who lamented and regretted the perpetual closure of the University asked that; has the public for once asked why the school is under closure?
Before going further, Aregbesola said that people should take noteof the fact that is administration inherited a debt profile of eighteen billion naira on a short time financing and the first thing he has to do was to restructure and finance the loan…
He argued that with the economic realities he meant on ground and the present recession which never gave a notice, he had no choice than to approach the capital market however, since recession also came in unaware, he had to be struggling to finance the budget of the state a situation that is not peculiar to the state of Osun.
The governor stated that one of the measures he is taking to run the administration of the state is to be paying half salary to all workers a situation that is similar to what is being practiced in Oyo state.
Though in Oyo state, what they do is that the work force is divided into group A and B and salaries are being alternated that is if group A receives salaries in January, group B will not receive and by the time group B is receiving salary in February, group A will have to wait till March.
To the dismay of the governor, he said he wonders why the staff of LAUTECH are not sympathetic to the realities on ground as they are demanding for full salary payment every month.
To Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, this is the simple reason behind the perpetual closure of the University and the question he echoed to the public is that; who is to be blamed?
Of course, the ever bold governor who will not spare a word anyday, anytime irrespective of whose ass is gored said that he should be absolved and the staff of the University should be blamed.
The writer of this piece as a lawyer in training believes so much in the principle of Audi altarem patem that is; one must hear the both side of the story.
I have not heard the arguments that the staff of LAUTECH has to raise, but assuming without conceding (because of the principle of fair hearing) that the issue is exactly the way the governor has stated it, what could have been the way forward?
The way forward is simple. In the interest of the career of the students that have been place on hold, the two parties should proceed to Ekiti State University and take some clues.
– Mogbojuri Kayode writes from Igbokoda, Ondo State.