Monarchs fight over location of college in Osun - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Monarchs fight over location of college in Osun


There are discordant tunes among traditional rulers in Osun State over the siting of a proposed Federal College of Education in the state.

This is as some of the monarchs are engaged in royalty battle over where to establish the proposed Federal College of Education (FCE) in the state.

The monarchs, who are rooting for the location of the college, to be established by the Federal Government, are already lobbying the presidency in order to secure the siting of the institution in their domains.

This was coming on the heels of the passage of the bill by the National Assembly, seeking to establish the first Federal College of Education in Osun State, which is yet to have a federal college of education located in the state.

Towards this end, some prominent traditional rulers in the state, in their agitation that the institutions should be sited in their domains, claimed that their different communities have suitable environment to accommodate the proposed institution.

The traditional rulers, who are now at each other’s throat, New Telegraph learnt, had started underground and intensive lobbying to bring the college to their people so as to actualise their dream for their different communities.

Due to this, it was also gathered that several moves were being made to lobby “who-is-who” in the country to convince the presidency to establish the college in their domains.

Part of the lobby is the claim that they all have the necessary structures and facilities, and what it takes for the smooth take-off of the institution without the Federal Government spending enormous capital to kick start the college.

But, the development seemed to have torn apart the traditional institution, especially in the Osun Central, as the various traditional rulers who have shown interest in the location of the college in their domains are desperate to get it realised, no longer speak in the same voice.

The major actors in this agitation are the Orangun of Ila-Orangun, Oba Abdulwahab Oyedotun; and the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi.

For instance, Oba Oyedotun at a press conference held in his palace, called on the Federal Government to establish the proposed Federal College of Education, being the slot of Osun State in Ila-Orangun, saying the community is the most suitable community that could accommodate the institution with little financial fuss on the government.

The royal father, however, argued that the town had the required facilities and structures to make the proposed institution virile if sited in the community.

“It is absolutely logical and fair to establish the proposed FCE in Ila-Orangun community, where relevant adequate facilities and amenities are readily available for the smooth take-off of the institution. And again, it should be noted clearly that there is no federal institution in Ila-Orangun community contrary to the notion in some quarters in the state,” the monarch further argued.

He added: “In Osun West, there is a federal polytechnic located in Ede, while Osun East is equally blessed with a federal university (Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife), but Osun Central, where we have Ila-Orangun is the only Senatorial District out of the three senatorial districts in the state without the presence of any federal government-owned institution.”

“In the pursuit of the laudable goals of fairness as demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, Ila-Orangun remains the best and the most suitable place for the location of the proposed Federal College of Education in the state.”

Oba Oyedotun, therefore, said that the government should shed its weight by releasing facilities of Osun State College of Education in Ila-Orangun for the smooth take-off of the federal institution.

“Ila-Orangun community is largely an historical town to be reckoned with not only in Osun State, but also in the country generally,” the monarch added.

But, this argument and claim did not, however, go well with the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, who also in a statement insisted that the college should be located in his community.
He, however, threatened to join critics of President Buhari’s administration if Iwo is deprived of the federal college of education approved for the state.

In the statement made available to journalists in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the monarch further argued that “taking the proposed higher institution to another town, other than Iwo, is tantamount to betrayal of unalloyed and tremendous support” he had given President Buhari’s administration since he crowned as the Oluwo in 2016.

He said he was among the few top traditional rulers in the country, who publicly identified with President Buhari during his trying period, even as the monarch affirmed that there was no reason for the government not to compensate Iwo’s loyalty by siting the college in the community.

Oba Akanbi further stated: “The history is there to show that Iwo is home for the progressives. During the 1983 elections, my people stuck out their necks for Chief Bola Ige and lost some of them during the clash which followed.”

The traditional ruler, however, appealed to the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Bola Tinubu; the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; a former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aeregbesola and Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola “to ensure that justice is done on this matter and give my town the federal college of education.”

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