From Bisi Olominu, Osogbo
Esa Oke, the hometown of late Chief Bola Ige was yesterday thrown into confusion as masquerades protested against the alleged plan by the state government to merge the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the state.
For some months, there had been rumour that the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had concluded plan to merge the two State Colleges of Education in Ilesa and Ila-Orangun, as well as the two Polytechnics in Esa-Oke and Iree.
But yesterday, masquerades numbering six together with protesters in Esa Oke jointly prevented lecturers and students of Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke from entering the campus.
They warned that the proposed merger if materialized would produce untold consequences.
Residents of Iree in Boripe Local Government had penultimate week protested against the alleged plan to merge Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with the one in Esa-Oke.
The protest was followed by the press conference organized by the Alumni Association of Ila-Orangun College of Education.
The association stated that it has noticed a move by the state government to merge the two Colleges of Education in Ilesa and Ila-Orangun.
The National President of the association, Mr Ayobami Fakeye, warned that the state government should not contemplate merging the colleges with any other institution because the association sees the move as retrogressive, totally anti-progress, anti-peace, anti-development and ill-advised capable of plunging the state into chaos of greater proportion.
Residents of Esa-Oke yesterday barricaded the College Road, sending students and workers of the institution back to their houses.
Speaking with journalists on the development, the Owamiran of Esa-Oke, Oba Adeyemi Adediran, stated that the protest was peaceful and staged to prevent Governor Aregbesola from embarking on his plan to merge the institution with another one.
He urged the governor to shelve his plan, stressing that indigenes of the town will prevent any attempt to merge the institution with another.
However, the state government had stated that the plan was to restructure the institutions and not to merge them.