By Adejumo Kabir
The students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife have officially resumed back to school from ‘end of the year’ break today after the school was shut down on 5th of December, 2017 following the industrial action of Non Academic Staff Union, NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU, and National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT over the earned allowance by Federal Government.
The students of the institution have however demanded the reinstatement of four students that were suspended couple of weeks ago for taking part in protest against poor welfare in October 2017 which was reported.
Students of Obafemi Awolowo University have stormed different social media platforms with the hash tag #REINSTATEOAU4NOW.
The four students, Omole Ibukun, Babatunde Oluwalade, Jacob Tosin and Udeh John were served suspension letter after protest against six day of power blackout in the university.
Omole Ibukun, was suspended based on a protest he claimed not to be involved on 6th of October, 2017. “I was not on campus on the day of the protest. I was in Osogbo for a family matter”.
Oluwalade Babatunde was said to have been victimised for inciting students during the power blackout likewise John Udeh and Jacob Tosin for participating in a protest to demand proper welfare.
One of the students, Oloniran Gbenga said the suspension will lead to more attacks if students do not stand on their feet.
“OAU is a place where students cannot express their thoughts and grievances contrary to the wish of the university administration nor critic the status quo without being victimized, is by far, far from being an academic setting neither is it worthy of being called a school. What are they learning? Dogmatism and submissions? It could be rather addressed as a zoo or better put as barracks.
“Quite unfunny, the university does not protect our own images, they go miles to oppress students even without any offences. Running to protect the image of such university is similar to pledging to serve a father land that continually exploits instead of yielding for your efforts. We can serve our father land better when we first tackle the the exploiters of the land.”
“Four students are still wallowing in undue suspension, the students’ union is under the attack of the VC, imminent fee hike looms, the campus welfarism gets worsened and bites harder on the performances of students and in turn, threatens the career, dreams, lives and property of students and staff. We can only say for now, that more attacks and struggles can only break out in no distant time”, he said.
Koye-ladele Mofehintoluwa, another student, in a his Facebook post, clarified the guiltlessness of the suspended students and the silly conduct of the university. “They were not criminals! The management is unwilling that a Union continues to keep them on their toes and have used slight and somewhat nonexistent excuses to clamp down on the students movement. It is not a Management Union. It is a student Union.” he posted. #REINSTATEOAU4NOW ”
On Twitter, Muraina Mujeeb, said: “Our colleagues are not criminal. They have the right to be heard. #REINSTATEOAU4NOW”
Also Faremi Saheed said: “It is over 80 days of the unjustly suspension of 4 OAU vibrant students. These comrades were suspended based on false allegations. They are not criminals, they have no criminal record, nor have they disrupted the school peace. The management want to clamp down the radicalism of OAU students by suspending them. We demand the unconditional reinstatement of our colleagues”, he tweeted.
However, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Eyitope Ogunbodede while responding to question asked by Association of Campus Journalists on the state of the union and suspended said “what we don’t want is a group of people that will not represent the ideals of Student Unionism in OAU”