LAUTECH, Ajimobi, Constituted Authority and the Price of Greatness
Two videos went viral last week and the main characters in that unfortunate videos were Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Governor of Oyo State; “the constituted authority of Oyo state” (as he described himself) and the students of LAUTECH, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; a higher institution of learning that has been closed down for over 7 months.
The Students of LAUTECH had on 9th of January, protested the continued closure of the university since June last year 2016. However, while addressing the protesting students, an angry Governor Ajimobi told them to do their worst. The Oyo State governor, whose state jointly owns the university, miffed by the outbursts of the protesting students, said the closure of the University for almost a session was no big deal.
Despite series of reckless outbursts by the Governor, one would not expect any wise officeholder in refined society and democratic scenery, where a Constituted Authority gets the power through the votes of the students and their parents say publicly,
‘’This is the constituted authority for Oyo State. Even if I don’t pay salary or I don’t pay this and that, the fact is that I am the constituted authority. It does not remove that authority.’’
It will not be out of place to remind the governor that Constituted Authority means power and authority vested in him through the mandate of the Oyo people, some of the students inclusive.
Nevertheless, Senator Abiola Ajimobi should have known as Churchill put it, the price of greatness is responsibility. This is a reworded slogan made famous by Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, who told him, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
It means that, if you are a Constituted Authority of Oyo State, LAUTECH, jointly owned by Oyo and Osun State governments, which was shut down indefinitely since June last year due to non-payment of accumulated salaries of staff is actually your responsibility.
’’You complain your school is shut since 8 months. Am I the person who closed your school?’’ the Constituted Authority asked the Students. If Governor Ajimobi does not really know for a fact, one might have to remind him that with authority comes responsibilities.
My disappointment was compounded when the Governor asked the protesting students that were at home for almost 8 months to plead, “Boss, they’ve shut down our school. Our dear governor…” Come on! that is what Constituted Authority should expect after 24 hours of closure, not after the equivalent of two semesters.
While Governor Abiola Ajimobi is expected to act like a responsible Constituted authority, one would also expect that the students or the Stakeholders’ of LAUTECH should engage their Governors more. They should embark on series of Press Releases and Conferences, Peaceful and strategic Protests. Just like it should be in student activism, it is important that the students know how to bring the Constituted Authority to a round table. They need to understand that they have to Consult widely, Consolidate on the consultation before going for any form of Confrontation.
Policy Analyst and Social Commentator