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OAU Students Seek Immediate Re-Opening

Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo

The students of Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun state have called on the federal government to constitute a governing council for the university as well as appoint a new Vice Chancellor in order for academic activities to commence in the institution.

It would be recalled that the management of the institution had on June 22, 2016 shut the university indefinitely and ordered students to vacate campus due to the continuous protests by workers of the institution over the appointment of a new VC by the governing council.

The workers of the institution had said the appointment of Prof. Ayobami Salami as the new VC was illegal and then accused the Prof. Rowland Ndoma-Egba led governing council of compromising the selection process.

Consequent upon this, the federal government through the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu dissolved the governing council and sacked Salami thus creating a vacuum in the management of the university.

But the students under the aegis of Alliance of OAU Presidents, Association of Campus Journalists and All Nigerian United Nations Students Association at a press conference in Osogbo on Monday lamented that the crisis has caused unprintable damage to the students due to their continuous stay at home.

According to the spokesperson of the students’ associations, Mr. Olanrewaju Oyedeji “the school closure has kept students at home for 95 days and the newly admitted students have been at home over 10 months and they are yet to begin academic activities.

“This shut-down has caused unprintable damage to our students who have suffered delay due to the current crisis.

“The federal government dissolved OAU Governing council and has failed to constitute a new one which falls short of provisions and expectations that a new Governing Council should be constituted immediately after dissolution of one, to ensure that there is no vacuum in power.

“The non-constitution of a new Governing Council has led to non-appointment of an Acting Vice Chancellor for the institution.

“It is noteworthy that the inactivity of the federal Government to do this, has led to damage on the future of thousands of students and we can no longer bear the pain the closure has caused us.”

The students also called on  President Muhammadu Buhari to look into issues that concern OAU noting that the institution had gone on strike every June for the past four years.

“We have spent the last five years going from one crisis to another which does not build us but rather weaken us. In the last three years we have gone on strike for 11months.

“Many things have always sent us home, issues like agitation for better welfare, Students Union issues amongst other things. We really want to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to look into issues that concern OAU,” Oyedeji lamented.

The students said they had visited the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, who promised to wade into the crisis so that the university would re-open without further delay.

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