The Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said the proposed stakeholders meeting on public-private participatory management of some public secondary schools in the state will still go ahead despite the opposition it has attracted from labour unions.
The chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Waheed Olojede, and six members of the congress are presently detained in Agodi prison after they were arrested and arraigned for disrupting the meeting to discuss the return of schools last week.
The union members were charged with seven counts and remanded in prison last week.
Ajimobi, who spoke while addressing members of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Oyo State chapter, in his office, said those who disrupted the meeting had no stake in the education sector in the state.
He added that the initiative would go ahead because of the advantages it would offer.
The governor stated that the state would not tolerate public disturbance and brigandage by any group of people.
Ajimobi said, “Before any partner can be allowed to get near our schools, they must have met some stringent conditions. Even in the nearest future, government would still monitor the schools to ensure adherence to standards. We will take the schools back if they fail us.
“We are not selling any school. We are not privatising. Those people will only be our partners and I want to ask you to go out there and help educate our people that Oyo of today is democratic and our policies are hinged on consultation and participation.
“Good governance is anchored on transparency, consultation and participation of subjects in the activities of the government.
“You all know what went down at the last organised stakeholders’ meeting, which was disrupted. We invited all those that have stakes in education in the state to jaw-jaw on the partnering proposal in education and those without stake, as shown in their behaviours, went there to cause disturbances.
“The era of brigandage and wanton destruction of public assets has gone. We would not allow any person or group to draw us back. If anybody has issues to present at the meeting, why didn’t they participate instead of disruption?”