Hitherto, controversy had hit the organisation over the composition of its Board of Trustees as the state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, citing government financial investment, disbanded the former board members and named the culture icon and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, a new chairman to head the board.
But the imposing Centre located at a hilltop in Osogbo seems to have suffered a serious blow when a few days ago the state government ordered the closure of the Centre and sent workers in the place packing.
The latest development about CBCIU might not be unconnected with plan by the government to reorganise the institution and make it function in accordance with its mandate.
The state Commissioner for Integration and Special Duties, Ajibola Bashir, told The reporters that the state government was not satisfied with what was going on at the Centre and decided to apply some measures to inject sanity.
Bashir, who dismissed any controversy between the state government and the former board chairman of the Centre, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the institution belongs to the government which is free to run the affairs of its property the way it deems fit.
His words: “The Centre belongs to government of the state of Osun. We discovered certain anomalies, which run contrary to our policy directive, and we have taken steps to put things aright in that place. The fact is that we have temporarily suspended activities in that place pending the time when a new management will take over on behalf of the state government”.
He said what is paramount to the government is determination whether the place should be occupied or not in line with the attribute of ownership.
He explained that the government took the position in accordance with the Section 8 of the amended law establishing the CBCIU, adding that the authority discovered that there were trespassers and people working at the Centre illegally.
Bashir noted that the Centre remains a common heritage of the people of Osun, stressing that the government was only performing its obligation to remove alleged rot found at the place.
When asked about the position of workers at the Centre, he said there were no workers except some people he described as usurpers who found themselves in a wrong place.
The commissioner said some Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) were found at the place contrary to the law, which established the place, and they had been asked to leave.
He added that some workers who were recognised as government workers had been redeployed to other government offices where their service could be more profitable to the state.
He disagreed that sealing up the place would send wrong signals to other stakeholders. The two gates leading to the Centre were under lock and key when The Guardian visited the place while security men manning the place declined comment.