Three Students Union leaders of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, have been suspended by the authority of the institution, for allegedly assaulting a professor. The students are; the President of the student body, Omotayo Akande, who bagged six semesters (three years); Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojedokun – four semesters (two years); and Secretary General, Seun Oketooto – four semesters (two years). The trio who are all final year students, would have commenced their examinations in the next two months. Students of the university, however, argued that the suspension of their leaders have to do with their recent agitation for better welfare conditions on campus.
The students had last year, staged a day peaceful protest, lecture boycott against the poor state of infrastructure in the university, which led to closure of the university in what the management termed a mid-semester break. Confirming the suspension, Akande, who is a 500-level Chemical Engineering student said, “We will like to note that the union is currently examining the situation and will try to adopt the best approach to handle the victimisation and achieve not only our reinstatement but also ensure that the cause for a better welfare condition is achieved in the university.” According to him, none of the suspended students had any record of impoliteness, adding that the protest was embarked upon after diplomacy failed.
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Nigerian Students Against Neo-Liberal Attacks has faulted the suspension of the students.
The group described the action as not only escapist but also undemocratic.
It added, “We wish to state that we strongly condemn the victimisation of student activists by the authorities under any guise; and we advise the OAU management to desist from such a vindictive action.”