The management of Obafemi Awolowo University has placed activities of the Students Union of the school on indefinite suspension, citing cases of violence and unruly behaviour contained in security reports available to the management.
The Registrar of the school, Dotun Awoyemi, communicated the development was communicate through a statement on Monday afternoon.
This came a day after the Vice-chancellor, Eyitope Ognbodede, issued warning of proscription during a meeting with the leadership of the SU and campus journalists. He said recent activities of the SU had plunged the school into embarrassment.
But today, Monday, he made real his threat.
“Following security reports of incessant fighting and unruly behavior during the congress of the Students Union and the recalcitrant attitude of their leadership, it has become inevitable for the University Administration to suspend the activities of the Students Union of the Obafemi Awolowo University,” read the statement signed by Mr. Awoyemi.
Mr. Awoyemi said the decision was reached during the emergency meeting of the management held earlier today.
Mr. Awoyemi listed the cases build against leadership of the SU, including the June attack on the Speaker allegedly by supporters of the President, and the alleged retaliation by the supporters of the Speaker later in September.
He also cited the widely reported fight between the vice-president and the social director “in which head butts and stabbing were recorded” during a meeting of the Executive to make decisions in respect of expenditure of funds released to the SU on September 5.
Then, he mentioned the “vandalisation of the vehicle of the Ekiti State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists on July 14, 2017; vandalisation of NURTW buses on October 6, 2016; and forceful release of students under investigation from Police custody on October 6, 2017; and recent serious fighting and open fracas at the meetings of the Union.”
He also accused the leadership of SU of dispensing rumours of fees increment a “and fabricated threats of invasion by cultists in order to deceive and falsely gain acceptance of the students’ populace to precipitate crisis, capable of disrupting the academic activities of the University.”
Based on the cases, the management reached the “inevitable conclusion” to suspend the SU until further notice, Mr. Awoyemi said.
“Any student or group of students who parades himself or herself as leaders or representatives of the students in causing disruption of the University activities, under whatever guise, will be dealt according to the University rules and regulations and Codes of Conduct , and according to laws of the land,” he warned.
Repeated calls to officers of the SU to have them respond to this development were not answered.
The suspension of the Union may take negative effect on the hopes of recall of suspended students whose sympathisers use the Union as a rallying point of agitation.
At least four student activities of the school are on indefinite suspension over allegations of involvement in violent activities.
But beyond that, the students now lack a body to engage the management on their behalf in the events of concerns over delivery of services such as water supply to the halls of residence and electricity.
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