By Olutaiwo Ayobami
It is no longer news that the Federal University Oye-Ekiti is one of the nine developing Federal Universities established under the leadership of the Former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2011.
However, at the advent of its creation several issues and controversies germinated between the now host community (Oye-Ekiti) and her neighbouring community (Ikole) concerning the University’s location.
It was learnt that while searching for a suitable location for the University, Ikole Ekiti was the first town to be visited and partially approved by the executive secretary of the National University Commission (NUC) Prof. Julius Okojie and the Federal Ministry of Education.
But at the inception of the University, Oye town was then chosen as the best location suitable for the University by the Federal Executive Council. This therefore generated controversies between the two towns involved.
The controversies which started initially as a peaceful protest later escalated to a violent conflict involving security personnel’s intervention and resulting consequently to the death of five youths while many among others sustained serious injuries of different kinds.
It goes on like that for sometime till the then and present Governor of Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the then President, Goodluck Jonathan intervened and settled the matter stressing that the proposed Federal University should run on two campuses. The Main Campus would be in Oye while the other campus would be in Ikole. This greatly settled the issue and killed the conflict.
Apparently, It is noted that the Oye-Ekiti campus is named while Ikole is not named or neither does it have any indication of a Federal University around it. This therefore becomes the question, the students deliberate on every time.
Speaking to CAMPUS REPORTER, Omowaye Dapo from Materials and Metallurgical Engineering department said “we really don’t know why the school is not named initially but later on, we discovered that it was due to the fact that Oye name should not reflect in Ikole as regards the then conflict”.
According to Boluwaji Aderemi, the PRO of the outgoing FUOYESU executives “it has always been like that..The cause as told, was because of the fight of who will own the school between Oye and Ikole then..so the Ikole Community lost the main University to Oye which made them agree that the name Oye should not show at the sign post of the Ikole campus”.
In a conversation between the reporter and a driver who hails and resides in Ikole, the driver said “Oye can’t be written there at all. The school is for the two towns in separate ways. That’s why it is two campuses. You don’t expect it to be ‘Federal University Oye Ekiti, Ikole campus’.”
“We want our name, we own it or nothing should be written. The school should be ours alone but it was maneuvered through the use of Federal power” he added. The driver refused to disclose his name when asked.
Speaking to CAMPUS REPORTER, the university PRO, Godfrey Bakji affirmed “the school is strongly aware of it, that is why the school has not named it to avoid any further problem but steps are being carefully taken to resolve the issue between the two communities”
“There is a panel examining the matter and that’s the Governing Council of the university. The matter was delayed because the person who chaired the council before was retired as she aged 80. So someone else has been appointed now and work will continue soon. It is the highest council and as promised, something will be done to place a specific sign or an indication of a Federal school there soon, but how soon I can not tell you for now” he concluded.