The students of the Department of Chemistry at the Obafemi Awolowo University have condemned the deplorable state of a laboratory at the White House Building of the Faculty of Science. The laboratory, which is located at the left section of the Part 2 Chemistry Laboratory, is said to have been in a deplorable state for over three years.
However, the Students’ Chemical Society of Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University came to a conclusion on the issue of the laboratory following the death of Heritage Ajibola who, before her death, was a part 2 student of the Department of Linguistics and Africa Languages. She died as a result of the negligence of BVER Suites management, a private hostel, where the management failed to cover a septic tank which she fell into.
To avert this kind of situation from happening in the laboratory, the students opted for a peaceful demonstration to show their dissatisfaction with the state of the laboratory but finally came to the conclusion to set up a 6-member committee on Wednesday 9th of February, 2022 to see to the affairs of the issue and come to a conclusion with the departmental authorities who will relate the matter to the appropriate quarters in the university.
The committee submitted a letter on the state of the laboratory to the Head of Department through the secretary and has also been able to trend the hashtag #WhiteHouseIsNotSafe on the popular microblogging site, Twitter, to call the attention of the general public to the state of the laboratory in order to get a quick solution to the situation before it leads to an avoidable event.
In a conversation with a member of the committee who pleaded anonymity, he explained the situation of the laboratory to Campus Reporter. According to him, the laboratory has been in a deplorable state for over three years now and no renovation has really been made so far. Students still had tests there during the last session and part of the materials used to cast the deck of the building fell on some students.
Currently, the place has been marked as a danger zone and students are no longer allowed to take practicals there, but the laboratory is on the middle floor of the building and students are still taking classes, practicals, tests, examinations and other academic assignments at the lower and upper floors of the building include the right section of the dilapidated laboratory.
Another member of the committee told Campus Reporter that the University management sent some people to check out the state of the laboratory last session, but no form of renovation has commenced till this moment. In her words, “The HOD can only push the situation to some extent, the renovation of the laboratory majorly lies in the hands of the management.”
In a conversation with the Head of the Department of Chemistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Falade, he confirmed to Campus Reporter the deplorable state of the laboratory and stated that the matter has been related to the university’s management. According to him, the need for renovation and rehabilitation of the dilapidated laboratory has been passed across to the University management. Further information on when it will be done can be gotten from the authorities of the University.
This Campus Reporter correspondent visited the laboratory on Monday 28th of February, 2022 and confirmed that the place has been marked as a danger zone with red ribbons round the area of the laboratory, however, a tutorial class was going on at the front of the dilapidated laboratory and students were seen at the other side of the laboratory.
Students’ Society Releases Response Letter After CR Conversation With Head of Department
On Tuesday the 1st of March 2022, the Students’ Chemical Society of Nigeria of the Obafemi Awolowo University, pleaded with the entire student body as a result of the late release of the response gotten from the letter submitted on the 14th of February 2022. Here, they stated that the head of the department had responded via a letter, dated 17th of February, 2022 regarding the immediate renovation of the laboratories. The Executive Council of the council, however, pleaded for pardon due to the late release of the response to the students.
The letter confirmed that the University Administration has been duly informed about the deplorable condition of the laboratories and that the Vice-Chancellor and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) have visited the laboratories and both agree that the laboratories have to be renovated urgently.
According to the letter, “The Vice-Chancellor promised to renovate the laboratories before his tenure runs out once we submit our report on visitation to some laboratories that can be used as a template for the renovation. This report has been submitted and we believe renovation work will commence soon.”
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