The management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife has threatened to proscribe the Students’ Union because recent developments around the body are causing the school embarrassment.
The Vice-Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, issued the warning during a meeting with leadership of the SU and campus journalists on on Sunday.
“We are not scared of proscribing the union, it has been done over and over again,” said Mr. Ogunbodede, a Professor. “It has been done several times and I have witnessed every occasion of proscription.”
“You have handed over your union to management and you have given us every opportunity to proscribe the union. We can do that and work with the faculties. If anybody is expelled for violence, I can state it here they won’t be able to come here again. You should fight for the welfare of your colleagues not selfish interest.
“If the President of the union cannot control his executives, how then can he control the entire students? I am not under any threat as Vice Chancellor of the university whether we have students union or not,”” he added.
Mr. Ogunbodede expressed displeasure that recent crises rocking the SU have had to do with financial malfeasance and that the student leaders have gone off-course.
“We want a radical union not louts. I was pleased when the SRC members told the university they want to go to Abuja, we approved it and I was impressed when I saw that their placards were for the demand of proper funding of education.
This is the kind of union we want and not a breaking bottle union. We give you this platform to be the leaders of tomorrow. I ordered the President of the union to endorse their travel to Abuja. We even monitor their trip to make sure they got there and return safely. I feel passionate about the union but you are driving us to a place where we don’t want to take the union to.
“That’s is why I called for this meeting, talk to ourselves. We want union that can charge the institution for the right cause not a dubious students union that fight over every fund disbursement. When there was rift the between the Vice President of the union and the Director of Social, we suspended the duo.”
Ogunbodede who was a three time parliamentarian during his time as a student on campus said the union had brought shame to the university at large.
On the issue of the suspended students, he said “we are looking into that. Panel has been able to proved that the vice president and the director of social fought and the management will take further steps. And on the issue of other suspended students. The matter has gone beyond what the public know.
“When police finish their investigation, we will know what to do but let me reiterates that we are not scared of proscribing the students union if you don’t stop soiling the name the university.”
The VC also spoke on his plans to decongest the hostels and debunked the rumour concerning increment of school fees.
“We are not planning to increase school fees and some set of persons should not just spread rumour because they want to gather support against the management. Also, the hostels will be decongested starting from next semester in order to cater for for the welfare of students,” he said.
Then, the Dean of students’ Affairs, Isiaka Aransi, also enjoined the union leaders to heed the advice of the university authorities.
“You have been advised and I hope you will sort the problems amicably if you don’t want to lose your union”
In reaction, Okediji Simon; the PRO of the SU, who was suspended by the Parliament for two weeks alongside the Secretary General, Boluwajaiye Adeoluwa promised the university principal officers that they would settle amicably and restore normalcy to campus
“We appreciate the fatherly care of the Vice Chancellor and other Principal officers. I can assure you that we shall meet ourselves to settle to settle our differences,” he said.
The meeting also had in attendance of the Registrar of the university; Dotun Awoyemi; the Public Relations Officer of the school, Abiodun Olanrewaju; and the Chief Security Office; Babatunde Oyatokun, among other principal officers.
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