Ojo Aderemi, president, student union, University of Ibadan, says that undergraduates of the university are not rascals, but they will fight for their rights.
In a statement shared on his Facebook page, Ojo said the main grudge of the students, which culminated in the school’s recent closure, is the financial implications of the use of kerosene stoves.
“Contrary to the widely-circulated, but falsely concocted story of the much- respected vice-chancellor that I insulted him at the inauguration, the only time I spoke at the said event was to deliver my speech, and no part either directly mentioned the vice-chancellor or indirectly insulted him, his personality or his office,” he said.
“We are not rascals who always seek to fight, but radicals who will always fight, not merely to be right, but for our rights
“It has also been suggested, quite wrongly by the university that the union directed students to act illegally contrary to university regulations. However, it is trite to affirm that we have only followed the laws made by the university itself, and nothing else.
“For instance, the direction of the student union for all students in the hostels to use hot plates in the kitchenettes which the management generously built was made on the foudation of the law, for the same is provided for in Chapter 6 of the students’ information handbook written and circulated by the university itself, and also the ethics governing the halls of residence on campus. The union was only advising students to be law- abiding, and thus help the management keep the law it has magnanimously drafted.
“The extreme economic conditions which students face has made it impossible for students to afford the use of kerosene stoves, which is not only embarrassingly expensive, anciently archaiac but also duely dangerous to the wellbeing of students on campus. Our members have been groaning and crumbling under the sheer weight of the financial implications and the health hazards of kerosene stoves.”
Another issue raised by Ojo, who is a 200-level student of history, is that the management of the institution has failed to provide identity cards despite payments made by students.
“Not only have Uites paid for I.D Cards for two sessions now, we have been patient with the management that long. Infact, even when the fees fraudulently skyrocketed for no given reason from N650 last session to N2000 this session, an increment of over 200%, Uites still remained patient,” he said.
“This has led to our students going through serious security harassment from members of the Nigerian police force outside the university environment. Many of our members have even lost credible scholarship and grant opportunities just because they couldn’t identify themselves properly as students. Afterall, anyone can claim to be a student, only the identity card tells the difference.”
On Monday, May 29, the vice chancellor of the university announced the suspension of undergraduate academic activities.
Twenty-four hours later, the university PRO informed TheCable Lifestyle that the activities of the students’ union and student representative council had been suspended indefinitely.
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