Protesting OAU students shut major building in the institution over fees hike, pray on highway.
Students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State on Monday, protested the hike in their school fee.
OAU recently increased the charges of its newly admitted students from N37,150 and N42,150 to N 82,400, N92,700 and N95,700 (acceptance fee inclusive), depending on faculties.
The charges of old students of the institution was also increased from N5,300, N7,800, N10, 300 and N12,800 per session to N19,700, N30,700 and N33,700 for different faculties respectively.
Our correspondent gathered that the protesting students have locked down major buildings in the institution.
Among the locked places are: senate building, computer building and the main entrance gate that leads to the university campus.
It was learnt that principal officers of the university are presently locked up in the senate building.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Bamitale Omole is also claimed to be locked up in the senate building.
“We have locked everywhere including the senate building, computer building and we are presently blocking the school gate. We are ready for the school management, we don’t care whatever happens to them there. The VC too is around, we want them to also feel what we are going through,” one of the protesters said.
“Attempt by security officers to stop the us (students) from locking down the senate and computer buildings failed. We almost fought them too,” another protester told our correspondent.
Our correspondent also gathered that Muslims among the students turned the main road to a praying ground.
“We have instructed the Muslims among us not to go for prayer. They prayed on the main road here. We already supplied them with water for their ablution,” one of the protesters, Akin added.
It will be recalled that the students had previously blocked the Abuja-Ife expressway at several occasions. In one of their protest, they were shot by a soldier attached to a presidential convoy.
However, the VC of OAU had in a press conference blamed inflation and sustenance of the institutions standard for the increment.
He also explained that the university has not got the ASUU/FG fund, which the students said should be used to provide relief.
He also stated that Special Relief Committee has been set up to attend to indigent but brilliant students, adding the increment was “inevitable”.
The students, however, said they are not ready to negotiate with the school management any longer, arguing that previous negotiations failed.
A communique issued after a congress of students on Sunday read in part, “The congress which was massively populated by students had the following resolution:
Shutting down of the computer building on Monday 16th June 2014. No student leader should meet or negotiate with management and that if there will be any meeting, it should be with the entire Great IFE students at Amphi. Cooking and playing of football infront of the senate building. Before the management shut down the school, we should be the ones to close it first by locking the school gate. The protest must be continuous should the management remain recalcitrant and that the entire students must not leave campus no matter whatever happens after.”
The communique also ordered all old students to occupy their old rooms.
“All stale students should resume to their former rooms or any vacant rooms in the stalites hostel because the union leaders will be taking over the allocation of bedspaces. All initial registration is null and void,” he added. (Daily Times)