Oyo Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Barr. Abdulrahman Abduraheem has denied insinuations that the State Government was planning to return some schools to their original owners.
The Commissioner, who clarified the State Government’s position in a statement at the weekend, added that the government, at no time indicated its readiness to return the schools.
He declared that the only recent event where Governor Seyi Makinde spoke about ownership of schools was at Loyola College during the commissioning of a hall named after Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, where he only advised members of the Old Students Association to direct their request to the Ministry of Education.
According to the Commissioner, the State Government had drawn up a Memorandum of Understanding to guide the planned takeover of Government College, Ibadan by the Incorporated Trustees of the Government College Ibadan, comprising the Old Students Association and government nominees, adding that the new regime of control at the Government College, Ibadan, is meant to serve as a litmus test for necessary template on the matter.
The Commissioner said: “There is clearly no truth to the story making the rounds that the government of Oyo State was about to return schools to their original owners.
“The government does not have such intention and there was nowhere His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde made that statement.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Governor was confronted about a possible return of the Loyola College, Ibadan to the Old Students Association and he asked the association to direct its request to the Ministry of Education for necessary engagement.
“He did not give any directive on the return of the school or any school, whatsoever. It is true that the state has developed a proof of agreement with the Incorporated Trustees of GCIOBA, but that does not in anyway amount to a blanket return of all schools to their original owners.
“While the State will not shy away from productive partnership with stakeholders in the education sector to support its policy of free and qualitative education, it will not take any step capable of upsetting the cord of alliance already existing in a highly treasured sector like education.
“Let me use this opportunity to address some interests who appear bent on twisting the submission of Mr. Governor on this subject upside down to look for other things to do as it is clear they will not succeed in the inglorious path of attempting to whip up religious sentiments on this issue.”
Makinde, while speaking at the donation, expressed the willingness of his administration to “consider the proposal of returning school to it’s original owners of it receives one.”
The notice had also attracted attack by some an Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
MURIC on Friday gave Makinde what it tagged “notice to quit the government house by 2023.”
The group accused Makinde of “acting the script written by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)”.
The quit notice was contained in a statement issued by Prof Ishaq Akintola, the Director of MURIC.
The statement reads in part: “Makinde is in the habit of snatching from the Muslims what belongs to them. Yet he wants Muslims in the state to continue to cooperate with his administration. He lives in self-delusion with his divide et impera as he hoodwinks an infinitesimal minority of Muslim dealers and ignores the real Muslim leaders. With this ill-advised announcement, he has betrayed those few stomach-infrastructure Muslim dealers who always claimed they needed to be near the governor.
“Makinde will soon know his fate. Muslims will teach him an electoral lesson. We expect Oyo governors to take a cue from what happened to Bola Ige in 1983. Nobody plays with Muslim interest in Oyo State and gets away with it.
“Makinde started by toying with the Hijrah holiday which his Muslim predecessor (ex-governor Ajimobi) gave us. He also refused to issue any circular on hijab to date. He marooned his Muslim deputy governor for three good years until the latter was eventually impeached and replaced with a Muslim-by-name deputy. Seyi Makinde’s anti-Muslim agenda cannot stomach the idea of a genuine Muslim deputy governor.
“We hereby give the ‘Eleyi of Agodi’ notice to quit Agodi Government House come 29th May, 2023. The Muslim dealers masquerading as Muslim leaders and romancing with our traducers for contracts will not be able to save him. Makinde’s days in government house are numbered. He has murdered sleep. From this day to 29th May, 2023, Makinde shall sleep no more. We advise him to start loading his back-pack with his most essential commodities from today.”