OAU STUDENTS DEMAND FOR THE REINSTATEMENT OF SUSPENDED STUDENTS AND UNION ACTIVITIES.
Saturday, 30th December, 2017.
By Olufemi Alfred
For the past few weeks, students of Obafemi Awolowo University have begun restoration campaigns in a bid to demand for the reinstatement of the students union activities and the reinstatement of the suspended Four students which was reported by OAU KILONSHELE few months ago.
The four students; Oluwalade Babatunde, Omole Ibukun, Jacob Grace and Udeh John were served suspension letters after a protest against 6 days of power outage in the university campus. This was followed by a indefinite proscription of the students union activities.
This was aired on social media platforms; Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter with hash tags like #REINSTATEOAU4 , #ReinstateOurUnion and #ReinstateGreatIfeStudentsUnion . All posts and tweets were geared towards towards the immediate restoration of the students' union and the suspended students.
Koye-ladele Mofehintoluwa, a Parliamentarian in the Students' representatives council, in a Facebook post, explained the innocence of some of the suspended students and the irrational behaviour of the management towards taming the consciousness of students.
"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.
Amongst many, another student, Muraina Mujeeb, expressed the need for students' voices to be heard and not suppressed on Twitter .
"Our colleagues are not criminal. They have the right to be heard." Mujeeb tweeted.
Also, the Secretary of Alliance of Nigerian students against Neo Liberal Attack (ANSA), Gbenga Oloniran, buttressed that the suspension coupled with some anti-students policies like fee hikes, will lead to more attacks against students very soon.
"We can only say for now, that more attacks and struggles will break out in no distant time." he stated.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Eyitope Ogubodede, told the Association of Campus Journalist, ACJOAU, in a response to salient issues on campus, that the students union will be reinstated as soon as transparency of union officers can be guaranteed.
The VC added that the executives of the halls of residence weren't suspended and an election will be conducted to usher in new Students' Union executives.
''what we don't want is a group of people that will not represent the ideals of Student Unionism in OAU, we want Students Unionism back as soon as possible, you'll realise that we didn't do anything to the Hall Executives which is still part of the Students Union.''