By Adejumo Kabir
The Students Union of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, has demanded an end to the era of victimisation of student activists on campus on account of expression of their grievances and dissatisfaction over the current situation on campus.
The union made the demand at a press conference in Osogbo, where it called for the unconditional reinstatement of the recently suspended students.
The Students are Omole Ibukun Ayodele, of the Department of Civil Engineering; Jacob Tosin, Faculty of Law; Udeh John, Department of Arts and Social Sciences and Oluwalade Babatunde, Department of English.
Oyekan Ibukun, the President of the Students Union said the suspended students did not commit any criminal offence as alleged by the school management, saying, the vandalisation claims by the school management were not true.
He said, “The leadership of Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ Union and the entire students of the university hereby use this medium to vehemently condemn the illegal and unjustifiable suspension of four undergraduate and two postgraduate students of the OAU by the management.
”We use this medium to debunk lies and subterfuges that have been made against our members. It must be clearly asserted at this point in time that students only embarked on a peaceful protest and what followed was their indefinite suspension from the University.
“On the foregoing, the Union hereby demands the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of both undergraduate and postgraduate students that were suspended by the Management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
“We demand an end to era of victimisation of student activists on campus on account of expression of their grievances and dissatisfaction over the current state of campus”
The union also demanded that the university management should call the leadership of Postgraduate students as well as students’ union to a roundtable discussion which must lead to the quick, immediate and unconditional reinstatement of students on suspension and resolve other issues.
However, the University management through a press release signed by the University Registrar, Dotun Awoyemi stated that the students were suspended for criminal activities, breach of the code of conduct of the university community and violation of their matriculation oath. The release further stated that the students suspended were not first offenders.
The university management stated that the suspension was necessary as they had no option than to take decisive action to forestall a total breakdown of law and order.
Dotun Awoyemi concluded the release by advising law-abiding students to concentrate on their studies and shun any act or utterance capable of elongating the academic calendar beyond the stipulated period.
The Vice President of the Union, Tosin Jacob, who had earlier been suspended alongside the Director of Socials, Adedayo Afolabi has issued another letter, warning her to vacate the institution and not to join any protest again, except she wants to be fully rusticated.