By Gbenga VON
“To every action, there is equal and opposite reaction”-_ Newton’s Third law of motion
There has been deliberate attacks from the university authority to dwindle the consciousness of students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife, no thanks to the sponsored union executives who are in the conspiracy too. The range of the attacks on welfare comes after sampling the mood of students on campus as to be sure if they have successfully killed the consciousness of students to their rights.
It is still fresh on how the university administration has been influencing the crises in the union through finance and other means, to ensure they see the union to the verge of proscription and total silence. The former was threatened immediately after the union shameful fist fights. This we must mobilize and ensure an open moderation. In order for the same administration to have free ride in exploitation for the future just as we have it in the blackouts, it had decided before hand to threaten students with disruption in smooth calendar, thus providing room for the dubious acts of incessant blackouts. Students must know that more attack is to come if we are not vigilant.
As far as we are concerned, there is no hide and seek about peace, we cannot have it in the face of exploitation of one class by another. The same university PRO, Olanrewaju was dancing and protesting aggressively while the school calendar was also disrupted only in support of one man, Elujoba not to be probed, the same man is the one expecting peace and no longer mind school closure when over 35 000 students are thrown into perpetual darkness and heat. The university has no argument for incessant power outage except that of corruption.
The university for ages and the current union executives have been committed to students welfare in statements. Yet the old cables carrying current are never changed even during break, they have not deemed it fit to sort out the lies about Ajebandele and IBEDEC’s forever power failure, they have not deemed it fit to install power generating sets for alternatives, neither has the union practically demanded for that.
There is no rational being to include a well-meaning management and a serious union that would expect students to continue receiving lectures in these inhumane conditions. The university that continually extort students and staff financially, that generates billions of naira internally, and such that prides itself as one of the most reckoned with institutions must commit to a standardized learning environment for her students and staff.
We are not to be swayed by the petty fumigation and cockroach renovations! The obvious reality is that the dilapidated and rotten conditions and congestion of the hostels would still harbor more than bedbug infestations. The university must build decent accommodation from the funds it has received for this purpose and the generated revenues. The selfish driven managing of the institutional fund is condemnable.
Conclusively, a university administration that wants to guarantee smooth academic calendar and Aluta free period should meet the demands of students and all members of the university community. The university must stop the deliberate exploitation and inconveniencing students, Students must ensure that the union must protect the student’s welfare; this is the only way to guarantee a smooth calendar. Also we must note that there is no better time to organize ourselves to save our union than now! There cannot be peace in the face of war. The university administration should stop blackmailing students for the violence they introduce, we demand immediate restoration of power irrespective of the alternate means. We shall overcome.
Gbenga VON is a member of Pacesetters Movement, OAU.