Editorial: MOCPED Transmutation Saga: Why LASG Will Be Consolidating Bad Precedent With LAHA Bill Of LASUED Main Campus

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  • EKO HOT BLOG perspective on Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED) Transmutation

     

On 29th December 2021, the Lagos State House of Assembly passed a bill wherein it unanimously proposed for the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto-Ijanikin, at (AOCOED), to play host to the newly formed Lagos State University of Education, LASUED.

LAHA

The bill, which is subject to the approval of the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to a significant degree echoed as a sting to the tail that followed the eventual transmutation of AOCOED and MOCPED to form the LASUED.

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Prior to this time, many agitations and contestations had already rented the air regarding which of the two Colleges would play host to the proposed University of Education. While these agitations were very much par for the course, the expectation was that when the chips come down, logic and rationality would dictate this crucial decision that would pave the way as well as set the right precedent with regard to the position of the state government on evenly spreading the dividends of democracy across all divisions of the state.

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Since the classification of Lagos state into the five administrative divisions, it would go without a saying that Epe Division, despite playing a strategic role in the state’s wheel of progress, had remained on the fringes within the holistic context of socio-political and socio-economic development of the state. It was not until a few years ago when an elite breed of the political class of Epe extraction took the bull by the horn and have worked exceedingly hard to “level up” against the perennial trend of being overlooked vis-a-vis the crunch, critical decisions in the state.

But despite the incredibly hard work of this elite breed of Epe’s sons and daughters, we’re still not there, and we’re still not equal. Instead, the Division has suffered repeated instances of marginalisation across the board in terms of political appointments as well as infrastructural development, despite its strategic importance and immense contribution to the economy of the state.

From the outset, the subject matter of deciding where the main campus of the then proposed university of education was going to be situated was always going to be a litmus test for the state. Expectedly, there had been several clamours from the contending parties on why the main campus should be located in their different campuses. But then, this was never going to be about what was suitable for the people of Badagry, or in fact, what was ideal for the people of Epe Division, but what was best for Lagos State.

Editorial: MOCPED Transmutation Saga: Why LASG Will Be Consolidating Bad Precedent With LAHA Bill Of LASUED Main Campus

It is on this note that it echoes as spurious for a decision that would indubitably exacerbate the already dense traffic conundrum in Lagos state to be taken at the expense of fanning out potential traffic that the school would birth by locating the main campus of the university in Epe.

It goes without saying that locating the university’s main campus at Ijanikin would only exacerbate the traffic situation along the LASU-Ojo axis while consequently robbing Epe Division of its potential of playing host to a tertiary institution in the state, an obvious lopsidedness, all things considered.

As pointed out in an open letter penned by concerned students of the Division, the recommendation of the State House of Assembly is one that glosses the glaring antecedents of political marginalisation of the Epe Division, which is evident in the statistics of political appointments and infrastructural development in the state.

With its immense aquatic potentials, good coastal roads, a seaport, the free trade zone, as well as other developments in the offing like the proposed six-lane expressway, an airport in the pipeline, the proposed toll gate and a trailer park; there is simply no gainsaying that Epe Division is perfectly primed to become the economic hub of Lagos State.

There is also the issue of natural justice, which naturally implies that a Division with no government varsity to its name, despite the availability of landmass, which happens to be a vital prerequisite of a standard university, has once again been overlooked, not on the merits of the situation, but on the politics and clout that has held sway in this crucial decision-making process.

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One stark truth that has emerged from the reality of the last decade is the fact that Epe Division, despite being politically marginalised for so long, has gradually placed itself firmly on the launchpad to global reckoning, majorly through leveraging its immense tourism potentials. Without a shred of doubt, if the trajectory of the last decade has shown anything at all, is that Epe Division is the future of Lagos State.

As such, one would expect that as a Division that carries a substantial degree of the future of Lagos State on its shoulders, the power brokers in the state would treat that future with the circumspection it deserves. However, the reverse has been the case, and now we are at a familiar deja vu.

Indeed, if the bill awarding the main campus of the newly formed Lagos State University of Education was a litmus test for the government, then this test has been flunked in flying colours as this consolidation of a bad precedent could lead to an open season where desperate political manoeuvring will trump the greater good and plunge the state light-years behind the great successes that we have achieved in the past years.

It is on this note that we at Eko Hot Blog urge Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the strongest possible terms to critically examine this bill before assenting to it to arrive at the decision that will be in the best interest of Lagos State and not the political shenanigans of a few lobbyists.

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