Following a video showing altercation between the Oyo state governor Abiola Ajumobi and the protesting students of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), a Civil Society organisation on the platform of Citizens Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), has given the governor seven days ultimatum to apologise for his ’embarrassing comments.’
A statement signed in Abuja on Wednesday by the Co-convener of CATBAN Comrade Ibrahim Garba Wala, described Ajumobi encountered with the protesting students as “act of executive rascality & irresponsibility in the strongest terms.”
“We at Citizens Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN) have watched in utter disgust & disbelief, a video in which the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Abiola Ajumobi addressed protesting students of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) few days ago. The video first uploaded by online news website, SaharaReporters, brought to fore some ugly truths about the concept of leadership in this country, which should worry every patriotic Nigerian.
“In the unfortunate video, the following observations were made:
Governor Ajumobi in clear terms wanted everyone to worship him as the ultimate god of Oyo State, with a warning that he could do whatever he wished at any time, even if such actions were against the wishes of his people, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
“Governor Ajumobi was surrounded by heavily armed security personnel who were positioned to shoot without provocation, an obvious sign that the governor’s arrogant inciting remarks were fuelled by his belief that he is well protected by security agents paid with proceeds of tax paid by those who voted him into office, who also look up to him for protection & better welfare.
Governor Ajumobi’s open show of disdain towards the students points to a deliberate desperate attempt to incite/provoke them into action, thus enabling him the opportunity to unleash retaliatory violence against them.
“This incident shows the new low leadership has sunk to in Nigeria, and we condemn this act of executive rascality & irresponsibility in the strongest terms.
“It should be recalled that LAUTECH has been shut down for over 8 months due to lack of funding to the University, and as a result lives of thousands of students temporarily placed on hold. It was in an effort to demand for the reopening of their institution so their lives could proceed positively in their quest to better themselves that the students protested to the Governor of their host state that faithful day.
“However, rather than respond to the angry students in the most dignified manner as the leader and constituted authority through assurances of his government’s determination to resolve all issues & possibly assuage their despondency as a father should, the Oyo State Governor displayed his rascality by saying all sorts of provocative things, including calling on the students to start a riot.”
While reacting to how the governor described himself in the video, the group said “Governor Ajumobi, who described himself as boss and the constituted authority showed no remorse about keeping the lives of those students on hold for over 8 months, instead, he was more concerned about being respected by those whose life had been placed on hold due to his administration’s failure.
“This kind of reasoning which seeks to claim entitlement to respect because of position, without working to earn that respect as a servant to those who sacrificed their all to put you there shall no longer be tolerated from any individual in position of leadership in Nigeria.
“When LAUTECH students reminded Governor Ajumobi that their school has been shut down for over 8 months, his response was, ‘’this is not the first time school is being shutdown…8 months, so what?” Is this not the height of irresponsibility coming from a State’s Chief Executive? What message is he sending to the children & youths in Oyo State and indeed Nigeria? A government that shows such disdain towards education is no better than Boko Haram which has similar stance on education.
“Additionally, the legendary Chief Obafemi Awolowo , who was a former premier of western region was known to have provided free and accessible quality education in the region and in his grave, Awolowo would turn around in disappointment listening to the Oyo state Governors address.
‘Ajumobi said in the video “This is the constituted authority for Oyo state. Even if I don’t pay salaries, I don’t pay this or that, the fact still remains that, I am the constituted authority”. Is this what Nigerians signed up for? Is this the meaning of constituted authority?”
CATBAN, however, called LAUTECH students and Nigerians in general to “come together and prove to Governor Abiola Ajumobi of Oyo State (and others like him) that they are not the constituted authority.
“Therefore, we are giving Governor Abiola Ajumobi of Oyo State 7 days to withdraw his insulting remarks and apologize to LAUTECH students for treating them with such disdain. We are also demanding that LAUTECH be re-opened in the next 7 days, failure to which we would be forced to #OCCUPY & shut down Oyo State.
“We also want to strongly caution the Oyo State Governor from future reckless display of impunity & power towards Nigerian Youths, who are the bedrock of this nation and on whom the future rests on.”