The management of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife has given an update on the reopening of campus.
Recall that the management had released a circular stating the outcome of Senate decision on Students’ protest.
DAILY GIST reports that students of the university took to the street to protest the death of their colleague, Adesina Omowunmi Aishat owing to alleged negligence by the health centre staffs and workers.
The protesting students accused the university’s health centre of poor management of Aishat’s case, and for allegedly delaying in its response when the deceased presented herself to the centre.
The University Senate however on Tuesday, 5th October, 2021 held an emergency meeting to review the situation on campus, following a decision by the Management to shutdown the institution.
During the meeting, Senate mandated the University Management to set up an independent committee to look into the immediate and remote cause(s) of the student’s protest with a view to preventing any future occurrence
It added that the committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
However, despite that the two weeks given to the committee to submit its report elapse on Tuesday, DAILY GIST can authoritatively report that no date has been fixed by the management for the next senate meeting where the outcome of committe reports and resumption date would be discussed.
Students had expected that the university senate would convene another meeting to discuss resumption date following the expiration of two weeks ultimatum given to committee to submit its report.
But speaking exclusively with DAILY GIST, The Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Isiaka Aransi said the committee the university senate set up to look into the crisis that led to students’ protest has not concluded it’s investigations or submitted it’s reports.
He added that no date has been fixed for the next senate meeting as such.
The university spokeperson, Abiodun Olarewaju while speaking with DAILY GIST also disclosed that the management has not fixed any date for the next senate meeting.
Mr Abiodun following the expiration of the two weeks noted that no one can count for the university, stressing that the management will decide on when the next senate meeting would hold.
The university’s vice chancellor Eyitope Ogunbodede in an Interview had said the management wants the campus to be reopened as early as possible.
The vice-chancellor said the closure of the university became unavoidable following what he described as the hijacking of the students’ protest over their colleague’s death.
He said the protesters had barricaded the Ife-Ibadan expressway and the Ife-Ede road, among others, and that they had “dangerously harassed motorists and commuters and collected tolls from road users.”
ogunbodede said closing the university was neither in the interest of the students nor the lecturers, saying as soon as possible the campus would be reopened.
He, however, noted that it would be bad of the university management to just reopen the campus without attending to some of the issues raised.
He said: “Let me tell you some of the reasons why shutting down the university is not in anyone’s interest. We have lost a session already because the 2020/2021 session has been cancelled. We are still running the 2019/2020 academic session. So, is that good for our image?
“Similarly, for the lecturers, no one has been able to go on leave for a long time. People think that lecturers enjoy during strikes, but that is not the case. Whatever forced holiday that you cannot plan with is not a holiday. You can’t travel, you can’t do exchange programmes or go on sabbatical. But even if a duly given holiday is just four weeks, you can plan your movement and whatever engagement you may have.”
The vice-chancellor said all hands are on deck to ensure that the university is reopening as soon as possible.