OAU students seek FG intervention over school closure

OAU students seek FG intervention over school closure

Monday, June 30, 2014 7:43 pm



Lagos – The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Students’ Union on Monday appealed to the Federal Government to direct re-opening of the school shut following students protest against increase in school fees.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institution was closed indefinitely on June 18, following disruption of normal activities on campus by students.

The university management said that it took the decision to safeguard lives and property on campus.

Mr Isaac Ibikunle, President, Students Union Government, OAU, told NAN in Lagos that the increase in school fee was unjustified and uncalled for.

“The closure remains militaristic and uncalled for, as no good reasons have been given for the sudden increase.

“There is no corresponding project to justify such an increase.

“When they talked about increasing the fee for fresh students, we tried to dialogue with the authorities why it should not be.

“The management did not listen to us but went ahead to increase the fee, and even went ahead to increase that of old students.

“This did not go down well with us; the more we tried to meet with management to talk things over, the more difficult it made things for us.

“There is the need for people to express their views; but that was not the case in our school.

“We had no choice than to mobilise ourselves for a peaceful protest on campus” he said.

Ibikunle said the university had in 2011, increased acceptance fee for new students from N2, 000 to N20, 000.

He said that the agitation led to the closure of the institution, the proscription of the Students’ Union Government and suspension of students’ leaders.

He said that over 300 per cent increase in the fee was unacceptable, noting that first year students paid between N17,000 and N22,000 in the past but would now pay between N72,000 and N92,000.

He said that old students, who were paying between N6, 000 and N12, 000, would now pay between N19, 000 and N33, 000.

Ibikunle appealed to the government to protect students’ leaders against victimisation for involvement in the protest.

He said that OAU students would not want to stay at home again after the last protracted ASUU strike.

However, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr Abiodun Olarenwaju, told NAN that OAU’s closure was to safeguard lives and property.

He said the institution had remained peaceful until some students behaved in an `unruly manner’.

“The increase in fee is not ill-intended.

“If we must be the best in Africa and aspire to be one of the top 100 universities in the world, then, we must begin to review a lot of things to get the best.

“We must seek ways of improving the quality assurance of this institution by working on our mandates in terms of infrastructure, teaching and learning as well as in-depth research and development.”

“As it stands, it is the senate’s decision to shut down the institution, and only the same senate will consider it fit to open the university,” he said.


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