Protesting OAU students saying their prayers on the road
By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
About 24 hours after returning students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, southwest Nigeria resumed for the 2013/2014 session, the protests rocking the institution over the hike in the students’ charges took a new dimension as students on Monday, 16th June, 2014, shut the school Senate Building among other buildings.
Pockets of protests had been witnessed on the campus and outside the institution as students demonstrated their grievances towards the increment in their fees before they besieged the campus on Monday, 16th June, 2014, insisting that the management should reverse the increased fee.
The protesting students locked the senate building and the main entrance gate that leads to the university campus. To this end, principal officers of the institution including the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole were locked out of in the senate building for hours.
The protesters also assembled at the university gate chanting anti-management songs to further drive home their points. They took to the major roads leading to the campus and prevented flow of vehicular traffic neither in or outside the campus.
The students, in the ensuing protest turned the entrance of the senate building and that of the university main gate to play ground as muslim students among the protesters prayed on the road leading to the campus.
Speaking on the development, the Students Union President, Comrade Ibikunle Isaac said: “our message to the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor is that Great Ife students are demanding total reversal of school fees. This is a warning protest, our aluta is peaceful, we don’t attack in OAU but the management should know that the increment in the fee is unjustifiable”.
Comrade Ibikunle maintain that the protest would not cease until the management reversed the fee to status quo.
The Vice Chancellor of the University had recently at a press conference announced the upward review in the charges of the institution’s newly admitted students and the returning students stressing that the increment was necessitated following the current economic realities in the country.
The management had increased the fee payable by the newly admitted students from N37,150 and N42,150 to N82,400, N92,700 and N95,700 depending on the faculties. These new charges include the N20,000 acceptance fee.
The charges of returning students of the institution was also hiked from N5,300, N7,800, N10, 300 and N12,800 per session to N19,700, N30,700 and N33,700 for different faculties respectively.