#Fund LAUTECH; The True Position by Babajide Bewaji (Must Read)

The National President of Ladoke Akintola University, LAUTECH, Alumni, Babajide Bewaji has cleared the air on the circumstances surrounding the #Fund LAUTECH project.

According to him, “Many things have been said today, and to let it slip will amount to acceptance to have starred in a script crafted and laid down in the imagination of the writers. I will not dignify with a response a post that breaks the rule of meaningful engagement. Posts, which dwarf the subject matter, but play up personal ego above the issue on ground. The chief initiator of fundlautech has docked me in the court of public opinion, and as a responsible leader, I will plead my case.

Permit me to put my defense side-by-side with the allegations
1. At the conceptualization of the # fundLAUTECH initiative and before the roll out of same, several stakeholders were consulted. This consultation was extensive and it involved the National President of the Alumni, Mr Babajide Bewaji. We took time to explain the concept and also seek his blessing.

I hope by “extensive”, Mr Bayo Adeyinka means a phone call on the eve of the official flag-off of the project. The project was initially flagged-off with a campaign that was met with stiff opposition by different categories of the Lautech stakeholders, who are free to query a movement that kicks off like a show of interest in willingness to contest for Alumni offices. The debate is still in the public space, when a lot of people alleged that the move looks familiar, as it is a move that always announce an election year. At that point, a credibility war began. Phone calls were made to me to give credence to the project, and being a progressive person, who always looks at the good side of everything, I refused to dissociate myself from the project. I did this out of respect and confidence that the initiators will stick to the objectives of the movement – to raise money to provide a palliative measure in resolving the on-going crises.

2. It was sequel to the National President’s endorsement that he gave us his consent to use his picture when the photo-countdown was done. Everyone whose pictures were used gave their consent before such were rolled out.

For people that were following the events that culminated before the flag-off of the project, you will remember that my picture was published a few days to the flagging off of the project. This further corroborates my earlier stance that the willingness to bring me onboard was a second thought, and was not in the initial campaign strategy. I consented to the use of my picture to further quell the fire that the group started. At that time, we cannot afford to be distracted by a divided house when the crises affecting our alma mater require a united force. I will rather have an all-inclusive government, than to have a house divided along interest line.

3. On June 12 which was the day the initiative was unveiled, the National Alumni President, who had earlier pledged to be physically present at the event was unavoidably absent due to another meeting which took place that day but finished late. However, the National PRO of the Alumni Association, Mr Samson Owoyokun was present at the event and even read a speech.

This, again, buttressed my earlier submission and willingness to work with the team as long as we adhere strictly to the aims and objectives of the movement. This willingness is still as strong today as conveyed on the 12th of June and I hope to make sure the agenda is not sacrificed for undue recognition and endorsement that will turn the wheel of the association on the on-going crises, backward.

4. Periodic updates were given to the National President including amounts raised and people visited. These updates were via phone calls and text correspondences. The updates also include people visited and prospects.

 We even made attempts to make some joint calls with the President but for time. For instance, we called the President when we got an appointment with the Ooni of Ife but the President was not around. However, in some instances, some Exco members were present during such visits. For instance, the National PRO of the Alumni Association (Mr Samson Owoyokun) was part of the delegation that visited High Chief Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja while the National Secretary of the Alumni Association (Alhaji Kamal Oloso) actually facilitated the meeting with the Chairman of Quilox, Chief Shina Peller. Are the PRO and National Secretary not members of the National EXCO?

Sir, you are a professional and administrator at a top level, where is it done that financial updates that borders around money is done via text messages and phone calls. Later in the lists of your allegations, you said I am a signatory to the account fundlautech, how come SMS alerts or E-mail notifications from the bank are not allowed to do the update? I will get to that shortly.

Furthermore, the President has access to ALL the fundLAUTECH initiators. Why did he then go to press over what he could have done via a phone call to any of us? Even when we differed in modus operandi ( the Babajide Bewaji-led Alumni Exco approached a senior lawyer to sue the owner states while fundLAUTECH advised against such a move because it would be counter-productive), we always resolved without any external involvement.

I have always moderated extreme and dissenting opinions about #fundLautech without going public. I made a pledge to support the initiative – a promise I kept until you decided to abandon the core aim for other reasons best known to you. Deceit crawl over us and occupy our space for a long time, but it’s a day journey for the truth to catch up. History has a way of throwing light to grey areas; I will resign to history to do this again.

5. Most of the statements issued by the #fundLAUTECH team were forwarded to the National President for his review before they are uploaded on social media. For instance, the financial update given 30 days after the initiative started was sent to him via whassap and he acknowledged it before we released same to the general public. He was informed about any significant donation that was received.

Financial update via WhatsApp message? This is embarrassing for a “signatory”. I have spoken about this above. It is pointless to repeat myself.

6. We (the initiators) of #fundLAUTECH have never collected money from Alumni Association or ANY other individual to fund this project. All out of pocket expenses including transport, fuel, hotel and other logistics have been from our pockets. We challenge anyone with contrary information to speak up right here.

This is a new order we adopted on assumption of office; hence there is no need for this to be stressed. As a matter of fact, sir, we have employed the free donation to the alumni treasury. I have, on many occasion donated. Members of NEC and other interested members have also complimented our gesture. The record is there to bear us witness.

7. We also wish to state at the risk of sounding immodest that we (#fundLAUTECH initiators) jointly donated the sum of N1m (One Million Naira) during the unveiling on June 12. We believe this is the only way to show our full commitment to this idea. Our attitude is that we have to give back to our alma mata and not the other way round.

If this was done, it is praiseworthy. I will personally write all the donors a commendation letter as soon as I get hold of the account statement, as a “signatory” to the account.

8. To show that we had nothing to hide and we are not a parallel organization as insinuated, the President of the National Alumni was made a signatory of the fundLAUTECH account. We informed him and got his consent to demonstrate transparency. He promised to forward his ID and passport photographs which are still being expected as at the time of this statement. Notwithstanding, his name is with the bank as one of the signatories.

This is what beats my imagination the most! As a banker, there are laid down procedure for opening of bank account. It takes putting forward my name to make me a signatory. The questions to be asked are: who wrote the letter for the account opening? Under what authority? Did you forward a mandate card to me (or this was done via text message too?)? Has KYC been done on that account? Which branch of Fidelity was the account opened? The more you put forward this “signatory” card the more I get provoke to laugh. I advise you tread softly because this is basically ethics issue. I will not speak further on this.

9. We also wish to reiterate the fact that the #fundLAUTECH is a personal initiative. Furthermore, there is no where in our Association’s constitution where individual efforts to assist our alma mata has been banned.

There is nowhere in our constitution where it is stated that similar efforts have to be channeled through the Alumni. The Alumni Association remains a voluntary association. We however have not pushed that line which is why we gave periodic updates to the National President.

On freedom of association, I concur. On periodic updates, please forget it.
10. We are concerned that the timing of the President’s press release coincides with our recent revelation that some of the delegates who went to Abuja recently to meet with the Senate President, His Excellency Abubakar Bukola Saraki were given a sum of One Million Naira which was shared among those on the trip which included lecturers, alumni members and non-academic staff.

We frowned at this act which we believe was not in the interest of the 34,000 long-suffering students who are the real victims of the impasse. It is interesting to note that some of the actors have owned up to collecting money. We are at a loss as to why this aspect was kept secret until the cat was let out of the bag. It is on record that the fundLAUTECH team pulled out of the Abuja meeting when we suspected that there were other ulterior motives behind the trip.

To quickly put this in the right perspective, at no time was the Alumni represented at the meeting with the Senate President. The representation of the Alumni is vested in me, or anyone I assign to do so. At no point did I authorize anyone to represent the Alumni.

You might need to direct your queries to the people that were at that meeting. He who wants equity must come with clean hands, gets your facts right before you go online to promote a smear campaign – an act you condemn others for. Secondly, to conclude that I came out with a release to put you back on track of fundraising or crowd-funding immediately after the visit to the Senate President, is a warp logic and a calculated attempt to call the dog a bad name. Mr bayo Adeyinka, kindly stay on the point!

11. We are aware that subsequent to this revelation, the #fundLAUTECH team was accused of inciting students against Alumni members. Less than 24 hours later, the press release came out. Could the press release of the President be an endorsement of this ignoble act? Is the President aware that money exchanged hands?
Please refer to my point above.

12. We have conducted the affairs of fundLAUTECH in a very transparent manner with the names of all donors and amounts on the website www.fundlautech.com. It is in our bid to ensure transparency that we have published all our efforts on social media for the whole world to see.

Unfortunately, this is one area the National President complained about in his press release. We also want to challenge anyone with information about monies collected but not reported by us on the website to please speak out.
We should leave this till the end of the exercise.

13. The President is aware of the reasons why fundLAUTECH decided to hug the transparency limelight. Our Alumni Association under Babajide Bewaji’s leadership has been embroiled in several allegations of financial misappropriation. One of the major allegations include the conversion of the Alumni’s funds (N3.2m) to investments in MMM. We believe it is time the President comes clear on these issues and others. Till date, there are pending petitions against the 2016 Annual Alumni Lecture where none of the members of the committee or executives know the amount released or how it was expended for the ceremony.

Furthermore, we are aware there is a report on the building committee where someone was said to have collected money for the supply of laterite and granite but didn’t supply. It is disheartening to state that it is public knowledge that Alumni funds are shared at NEC meetings with the disbursement of N3,000 per Alumnus with the approval of the President. To host NEC meetings, N100,000 per chapter is also released to the chapter.

Why should Alumni funds contributed by graduating students be spent on such trivialities? Is this how other schools run their Alumni Association?

Is our Alumni Association not in need of forensic auditing also? We challenge the President to deny these allegations and even present the accounts of the Alumni for auditing.

For clarity, I will take this one allegation by one.:

a. The 3.2Million Naira saga: The 3.2 Million was a case of a member of the executive that got his hand soiled in misappropriation. That was a side to the story, a story I did not give out in parts. Here is the other part that Mr Bayo Adeyinka withheld all in bid to soil my reputation, and an Alumni he aspires to lead. As soon as we discovered that the money, which was meant for the roofing of a civic centre (a 1500 capacity structure we laid its foundation 2 years ago) was not properly accounted for, we immediately ostracized the member in question, invited the police and eventually recovered the money. The materials for which the money was intended had been supplied. This is half reporting highlight.

Also, it will amount to fallacy of hasty conclusion to pin a corrupt tag on all Alumni Executive members for related events that was discovered, reported, and nipped immediately.
b. Petition against annual lecture committee: As of today, the NEC has not received any petition against the Public Lecture committee, headed by Oloye Sina Odeleye. I, however challenge you to release any correspondence or official document backing this claim. For me, Mr Bayo Adeyinka, you descended low to have taken a seat among rumour mongers.

Responsibility beholds you cross-check your facts and be certain before you issue a public statement. You owe the public that. Again, you need to keep yourself abreast of the association constitution on the procedure for submitting and dispatching of petition.

This association is not run on wishful thinking, it is established by a constitution. To “acquire” the office you “perspire” for, you need to get to the basics. Get a copy of the constitution!
c. The Laterite saga: It will shock you that the very person you are referring to has been on the run, and is presently enjoying asylum in your camp. It is our belief that the hand of the law will soon catch up with him, and he will be made to pay to the last penny.

d. On NEC hosting: I refer you to a “epistle” according to Mr Ropo Egbeleke confirming my financial involvement in the Alumni. I make bold to tell you that money spent in NEC are free donation of people of like-minds, who understand that people’s goodwill should not be squandered. I, however challenge you, with reference to the constitution, call for an audit of the Association account. Mr Bayo, you are meant to be an old dog in procedures as regards call for accountability! Do the right thing, and we will oblige you or any other interested party.

14. We also wish to state that it is quite unfortunate that many have come to see the Alumni Association as a meal ticket.

 The President is surrounded by such people who will rather feed fat on alumni instead of thinking of what to do for the alumni.
Albeit, the President has even encouraged them. This is not the way other tertiary institutions run their Alumni Association.
Be consistent sir! I don’t reward hero worshippers or boot lickers. You have never seen me as a good man, why the sudden switch in argument. For the people you see as using the Association as meal ticket, please write a letter to them. You know how to do this well.
“In Conclusion, I regret having to resolve to this, but I owe history and a lot of people my stewardship.

We are sorry for this distraction, and I sincerely hope for the sake of progress, we will all resolve to work together for the good of our alma mater. For those that have been castigating me based on sensational headlines and flashes, I implore you to seek God for forgiveness because the Bible says we “should seek the truth at all times.

We shall be making further statement of our effort so far on solving the on-going crises bedeviling our dear school. These cannot be on the same page as all what we have been dealing with these passing days. We seek commendation not from men, but from God. I swore that I will not take a dime from alumni purse but I will rather give back, I make bold to say that I have kept this promise religiously till date.

I wish to reiterate my unalloyed commitment and support to work with all parties to make LAUTECH great. Thank you all for you time.”

1 Comment

  1. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this
    postt annd the rest of the site is also really good.

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