HomeObafemi Awolowo University (oau)update on the ongoing student union crisis in OAU

update on the ongoing student union crisis in OAU

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By a letter dated 17th November, 2015, the Student Union
Executive requested for a meeting with the University
Administration.
2. As it is the procedure, the Acting Dean, Student Affairs,
and her team called a meeting and had several interactions
with the Student Union leaders, i.e. the Central Executive
Council (CEC), the Student Representative Council (SRC) and
the Judicial Council and the Chairpersons of all Halls of
Residence with the Security Committee in attendance.
3. At these interactions, the Acting Dean, Student Affairs,
discussed the welfare problems of students extensively and
the efforts and challenges being put in place to ameliorate
these.
4. Subsequently, the Acting Dean, Student Affairs, directed
the Hall Management Committees to commence action on
the very urgent repairs that should be addressed in the Halls
of Residence, e.g. repair of toilets, leaking roofs, and general
environmental repairs.
5. However, earlier last week, there was an electrical
problem at the University Dam, which prevented the
pumping of water continuously for 24 hours because the
generator at the Dam had to be allowed to rest
intermittently. The worst hit Halls, (Angola and Mozambique)
were supplied with water by tankers.
6. The electrical fault at the Dam was eventually fixed by
Wednesday, 25th November, 2015. Unfortunately, on
Thursday, 26th November, 2015, the electricity supply to the
Campus was cut off from Oshogbo and was restored on
Friday, 27th November, 2015. However, the line to the Halls
of Residence had a fault and the Electrical Section swung
into action immediately and got it rectified that same day.
7. The supply of electricity to the University generally was cut
off only for ONE DAY.
8. That same Friday morning, students were already
agitating that there was no electricity supply, and drove
other students from the Library and some Lecture rooms,
and also decided to hold a Congress by the evening of that
day.
9. Despite these interactions with the Ag. Dean, Student
Affairs, the University Administration scheduled a meeting
with the Student Union Executive for Sunday, 29th
November, 2015. Surprisingly, the Student Union Executive
refused to attend the meeting called by the University
Administration and kept the Principal Officers waiting only to
send in a letter to inform the meeting that they would not be
attending.
10. The letter from the Student Union Executive stated that
their attendance at the meeting with the University
Administration would be a betrayal of their cause and
frustrate their already planned lecture boycott and protest.
Indeed, the Student Union Executive stated further that their
attendance at the meeting would put a big question mark on
the integrity of the leadership of the Union and as such the
planned lecture boycott and protest are not negotiable. They
also added that the boycott and protests would go on
despite the availability of light and water.
11. By a letter dated 29th November, 2015, the Student
Union Executive informed the University Administration that
it had resolved to embark on a lecture boycott and protest
from Monday, 30th November, 2015. It should be noted that
this action contravenes the University regulation which
stipulates that the Student Union must give at least 48 hours’
notice before embarking on lecture boycott.
12. Among the Union’s demands are the following:
1. Constant and uninterrupted supply of electricity and
water;
2. Renovation and RE-FUMIGATION of all halls of residence,
laboratories and lecture theatres;
3. Proper funding of the education sector in Nigeria;
4. Reinstatement of one ‘Olawale OGUNRUKU’.
13. At this point, attention is also drawn to the fact that on
17th November, 2015, members of the Central Executive
Council of the Student Union, led by the Public Relations
Officer, and subsequently, the President, assaulted
Professor Y. K. Yusuf, a former Dean of the Faculty of Arts,
because he refused to allow the PRO of the Student Union to
interrupt his class; the students disrupted the lecture that he
was delivering. The matter is still being investigated.
14. In his account of the incident, Professor Y. K. Yusuf
stated as follows:
“While the lecture was in progress, a student who was not
taking the course walked in and asked me to stop the lecture
so that he could make an announcement. I told him that it
was not proper for a student to interrupt a lecture for that
purpose and that he would do well to leave the class. He
then informed me that he was the Public Relations Officer
(PRO) of the Obafemi Awolowo University Student Union. I
told him that, that notwithstanding, the sanctity of a lecture
in progress ought not to be undermined and that he still had
to leave the class. His response to this was that whether I
liked it or not, he was going to make the announcement. I
insisted that that would amount to an affront on discipline.
In spite of this, he started to address the students in the
class with the public address system he had brought with
him.”
15. Thereafter, the President of the Student Union sent a
message to the Vice-Chancellor and some other Officers of
the University as follows ‘Good evening Sir, a lecturer
assaulted the PRO of our Union. This to us is a profound
insult on our Union that is currently generating serious
uprising among student on campus. We have demanded for
an open apology letter within the next 24 hours from the
lecturer after which I Student Union President cannot
guarantee the outcome of students’ grievances as I may not
be able to pacify the student body. Thanks”.
16. In regard to the demands of the Student Union, it should
be noted as follows:
(i) Constant and Uninterrupted Supply of Electricity and
Water
The University Administration wishes to place on record that
the University Campus is an estate that has enjoyed the best
supply of these municipal facilities compared to anywhere
else in the country as it has a dedicated line from the
National Distribution Centre. Nevertheless, the reliability of
these services is beyond the control of the University and
should be considered in the context of the national
situation. It should be noted that the continuous flow of
water is related to availability of electricity.
(ii) Renovation and Re-fumigation of all Halls of Residence,
Laboratories and Lecture Theaters
It should be noted that the Halls of Residence were
fumigated in October 2015. Since the students have
requested for re-fumigation of the Halls, Laboratories and
Lecture Theatres, it means that they will have to vacate their
Halls of Residence and academic activities will have to be
suspended, to enable the University to meet this demand.
(iii) Proper funding of the education sector
The funding of the education sector is beyond the purview of
Obafemi Awolowo University.
(iv) Reinstament of “Olawale Ogunruku”
This name does not exist in the student database of Obafemi
Awolowo University.
17. On Monday, 30th November, 2015, the Student Union
held a Congress in front of the University Campus gate and
came up with the following resolutions:
(i) The Union should embark on a massive media campaign
to press home its demands.
(ii) The Union should give the University Administration an
ultimatum expiring on Friday, 4th December, 2015 after
which, if its demands are not met, the Union would continue
with the disruption of normal activities on the Campus.
18. It should be noted that it is apparent from the
resolutions of the Congress that the aim of the Student
Union is to disrupt the meetings of the Governing Council
and the Convocation Ceremonies starting from Monday, 7th
and 9th December, 2015 respectively.

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