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What is Delaying the OAU Student Union’s Reinstatement

During the 20th commemoration programme of George Iwilade (Afrika) and 4 others at the amphitheatre of the Obafemi Awolowo University, the institution’s Dean, Division of Student Affairs, Professor Isiaka Aransi, spoke on the reinstatement of the Students’ Union.

The Students’ Union was proscribed during the 2016/2017 academic session by the University management, led by Professor Eyitayo Ogunbodede, on the grounds of disunity and disagreement amongst the union’s leadership.

The Dean, while addressing students who attended the commemoration programme, assured the audience that the reinstatement of the Students’ Union will be brought before the Vice-Chancellor for consideration.

“I’ve been listening and watching what has been happening here. I want to assure you all that the issue of reinstatement of the students’ union will be tabled before the Vice-chancellor,” the DSA said.

Professor Isiaka noted that the University management is willing to reinstate the Union soon, but their major concern is having responsible Students Union leaders at the helm of affairs,  citing the infamous disagreement which occurred during the Ibukun-led administration.

“The issue we are having is that we want a responsible Students’ Union. We don’t have to repeat the previous fight that occurred among the Executives. I can assure you all that the Students’ Union will be reinstated very soon.”

However, other speakers at the commemoration programme disagreed with the Dean of the Division of Student Affairs’ use of the phrase responsible leaders and the proscription of the union.

Lanre Legacy, a former President of the Students’ Union (1999) pointed out that the responsibility will be determined by the school management.

“It’s the management’s response that will determine if we are going to have a responsible Students’ Union.”

Ropo Ewela, former president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, reminded the audience that the students’ right to unionise does not lay not with the Vice-Chancellor. Comrade Adeola Soetan, a former union leader demanded the reinstatement of the union, saying: “In memory of Afrika and 4 others murdered in cold blood, we demand that the Great Ife Students’ union should be unbanned and SUB should be reopened.”

Recall that Campus Reporter reported a similar statement made by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitayo Ogunbodede, during a roundtable discussion with all Editors on campus under the aegis of the Association Of Campus Journalists. Here he mentioned that the Students’ Union can not be reinstated due to lack of responsible leaders among the students, a position that the Dean of the Division of Student Affairs has echoed.

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