OAU Senate Building

OAU students protest, insist authorities should rescind directive on total shutdown

*The protesting students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, in Nigeria, have insisted the Management of the University must rescind their earlier directive on complete shutdown of the campus

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following the closure of the tertiary institution of learning and the Management’s subsequent directive for students to vacate their hostels over a protest sparked by the death of a final-year student, students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, have protested against the ‘total closure’ of the school by the University’s authorities.

The aggrieved students Saturday, October 2, 2021, as early as 7.30.a.m. had trooped out and stormed the streets within and outside the institution’s campus in Osun State, South-West Nigeria.

OAU students during a protest   Photo: Channels TV

ConsumerConnect learnt during the protest, the aggrieved students shut the campus gate and blocked the major roads leading to the school, insisting that the Management must rescind its earlier directive on the complete shutdown of the campus, while the students were also directed to vacate their halls of residence, report said.

Recall the authorities of the institution had ordered the closure of the University campus and directed students to vacate the hostels, sequel to a protest generated by the death of Ms. Aisat Adesina, a final-year student.

ConsumerConnect reports Abiodun Olarewaju, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of OAU, in a statement Friday, October1, 2021, said the move was aimed at preventing the breakdown of order as the students, who were protesting over the death of Adesina Omowumi Aishat, a Year 4 student, blocked the Ife/Ibadan and Ife/Ede Roads.

The University PRO had stated: “Therefore, having exhausted all necessary avenues to call the students to order and allow normalcy to return to the campus and its environs, the authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, have accordingly closed down the school until further notice.

“This is to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

“In view of this, all students are hereby directed to vacate their halls of residence and the Campus latest by 12:00 noon on Saturday, 2nd October 2021.”

Olarewaju also said that the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected Students’ Union members has also been suspended in view of the development.

‘We want justice for Aishat’ ─Students

While seeking justice for late Aishat, the Students’ Union officials in an interview with Channels TV noted that they have zero confidence in the health facility of the institution.

 Late Aishat Omowumi Adesina

It was learnt the student leaders rather blamed the death of the student on personnel who they claimed did not attend to her properly when she was rushed to the medical facility.

Salvation Grace, Vice President-elect of the OAU Students’ Union, said: “The first thing we want the Management to do is to open our school with immediate effect; we want it now.

“We want justice for Aishat; we want justice for Korede (another late student); we want justice for every student who went to that health centre in their lifetime, and were not treated properly.”

However, the Management of the institution stated that the closure of the school was a necessary decision to take at the moment.

Olarewaju, Public Relations Officer the University, was quoted to have said that the University Management took the decision after appealing to the students on four different occasions.

He stated: “If you say you are protesting, it is your fundamental human right.

“But you should not allow that protest to lead to violence.

“Blocking the Ife-Ibadan Highway and the Ife-Ede Highway for nine consecutive hours is not right.

“We now envisaged a situation that as things were going, the university should be proactive and do the needful.”

As scores of students gathered at the Students’ Union building on the campus to denounce the Management’s decision in this regard, others came out of their hostels with their belongings, according to report.

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