EXCLUSIVE: OAU VC, Ogunbodede, speaks on closure, reopening of university

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As college students and other stakeholders signal online petition hunting for the reopening of Obafemi Awolowo College (OAU), Ile-Ife, the institution’s vice-chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, has talked about “even the management desires the campus to be reopened as early as probably.”

Mr Ogunbodede, a professor of dentistry, spoke to PREMIUM TIMES in an exclusive telephone interview on the disaster that rocked the university over the demise of a final one year pupil of the Division of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Arts, Aisha Adesina.

The vice-chancellor talked about the closure of the university turned unavoidable following what he described as the hijacking of the college students’ sigh over their colleague’s demise.

He talked about the protesters had barricaded the Ife-Ibadan throughway and the Ife-Ede road, amongst others, and so that they’d “dangerously harassed motorists and commuters and picked up tolls from road users.”

He talked about: “We are all fogeys and no unswerving university administrator would ever pray to lose any member of the university community. So when the pupil died, it used to be of course unhappy news for us.”

He expressed the sympathy of the university to the oldsters and colleagues of the deceased. He, on the different hand, condemned what he described as the protesters’ manner of come, asserting blockading roads and harassing innocent folks may per chance well no longer be the resolution to the failings they raised.

“As human beings we anticipated reactions to lumber the demise and we directly launched a probe into what transpired. However we by no manner anticipated that our college students would disappear launch air the campus to dam most indispensable roads.

Factual esteem the EndSARS, ”the sigh soon degenerated and we noticed meals and drinks being mobilised to the scenes by some fifth columnists. Commuters including lecturers were held to ransom. At that stage, no intellectual administrator would disappear away the campus launch,” Mr Ogunbodede added.

He talked about if the university used to be no longer proactive ample and had allowed more lives to be misplaced, his critics would have faith called for his head. “They would have faith called us unprintable names.”

He talked about on Friday, the protesting college students had circulated “directives,” warning that examinations slated for Saturday wouldn’t succor, and that every person used to be horrified of actions. “So the supreme thing used to be to shut down.”

On dysfunctional well being centre

The protesting college students have faith described the university’s well being centre as decrepit and unfit for the campus, asserting the frequency of demise of faculty students on the campus is a scandalous omen.

A commentary issued on Monday by the university’s chapter of the Alliance of Nigerian Students In opposition to Neo-liberal Assaults (ANSA), called for the probe of the university’s expenses and budgetary allocations, namely on the well being of the college students and team.


The commentary, which used to be signed by the crew’s protem coordinator, Saheed Luqman, called for the immediate reopening of the university.

The protesters had blamed Miss Adesina’s demise on the alleged negligence of the healthcare workers at the well being centre, insisting that the deceased used to be no longer the first to die in a an analogous circumstance at the power in most up-to-date cases.

However in his response, Mr Ogunbodede talked about he wouldn’t dispute that, correct esteem other areas, there are just a few challenges with the university’s well being centre, but that he doubted if the companies and products accessible at the centre shall be show cloak in many secondary hospitals in the nation.

In step with the vice-chancellor, the well being centre has 17 clinical docs, and that they additionally collaborate with the university’s teaching well being heart for referral of extreme conditions.

“I don’t are making an are trying to pre-empt the outcome of the findings of the committee but I will guarantee you that a well being centre with 17 clinical docs can’t be a little keep. I doubt if now we have faith many secondary well being companies and products that can boast of such. Now we have faith concerns, no question, but things are no longer as scandalous as folks may per chance additionally honest need the public to think,” he talked about.

Reopening the campus

In step with the vice-chancellor, closing the university used to be neither in the interest of the college students nor the lecturers, asserting as soon as probably the campus shall be reopened.

He, on the different hand, well-known that it’d be scandalous of the university management to correct reopen the campus without attending to among the failings raised.

He talked about: “Let me let you know among the the the explanation why shutting down the university is never any longer in somebody’s interest. Now we have faith misplaced a session already since the 2020/2021 session has been cancelled. We are silent working the 2019/2020 academic session. So, is that perfect for our image?

“Equally, for the lecturers, no one has been ready to head on disappear away for a extremely lengthy time. Of us think that lecturers gain pleasure from for the interval of strikes, but that’s no longer the case. Whatever compelled holiday that you just can’t understanding with is never any longer a vacation. That you just may additionally’t shuttle, you may per chance well’t manufacture substitute programmes or disappear on sabbatical. However even if a duly given holiday is correct four weeks, you may per chance well understanding your fling and despite engagement you may per chance well additionally honest have faith.”

The vice-chancellor talked about all hands are on deck to make obvious the university is reopening as soon as probably.

On reported planned ban of faculty students’ union

Mr Ogunbodede talked about though he used to be disenchanted by the behavior of the college students’ leaders for the interval of the sigh, it by no manner crossed his mind that the university management may per chance additionally honest private in mind inserting a ban on a “union I struggled laborious to reinstate.”

“Of us may per chance additionally honest have faith forgotten that I was into college students’ unionism on the identical campus. I of course were on that campus since 1977 and I do know the college students’ union has helped to make future leaders for this nation, subsequently my insistence on its reinstatement. However OAU’s culture abhors brigandage, extortion and hooliganism by somebody

“Per chance, I may per chance additionally honest no longer were appointed a vice-chancellor if I did now not compare leadership as a feeble player in college students’ unionism on the campus. So I like our college students and that used to be why I staked my neck against all odds to think my colleagues’ make stronger to reinstate the union,” he talked about.

The VC, on the different hand, condemned what he described as an odd style by the college students’ leaders, asserting they were yet to be inaugurated “and had started romancing partisan politicians as if they were launch air the campus.”

“We went up to now as participating INEC, a parliamentary institute, amongst others, to reorientate our college students’ leaders before the election. We wanted to make the OAU college students’ union to live a mannequin. We were at the level of organising a retreat for the newly elected legit when we started noticing heart-broken conducts,” he talked about.

However despite his misgivings, the vice-chancellor talked about he shall be at liberty to head away in the encourage of the legacy of a huge college students’ union.

On probe committee

Though the vice-chancellor saved a sealed lip on the indispensable functions of the probe panel the university’s Senate educated the management to put on the topic, PREMIUM TIMES exclusively gathered that a five-man committee has been keep up.

This newspaper learnt from a legit source who craved anonymity that the committee contains three academic and two non-academic officers.

The source, on the different hand, may per chance well no longer give extra indispensable functions, except for the fact that they obtained their letters of appointment on Thursday morning, and that the committee has two weeks to post its portray.

Backstory

The university management had, on 1 October , ordered the indefinite shutdown of the campus, following the sigh by the college students over the demise of Miss Adesina.

This used to be equipped in a press launch launched by the university’s public relations officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, noting that the management “understands the bother after the lack of the pupil, but is never any longer going to tolerate the unswerving and uncontrolled sigh by the college students.”

“The Administration understands the bother resulting from this untimely demise inside of the community and sympathises with the oldsters, chums, colleagues and your entire college students of the university on this unhappy loss, and prays for the repose of her soul.

“However, management condemns in tough phrases the unswerving and uncontrolled protests by the college students culminating in unbridled brigandage, blockading the Ife/Ibadan and Ife/Ede highways and other adjoining roads that shall be passe as different routes, and enticing in other acts that are detrimental to their well being and the protection of the generality of the folk,” the commentary be taught.

The commentary extra directed college students to vacate their halls of position in portray to come normalcy to the campus.

“Attributable to this fact, having exhausted all an indispensable avenues to call the college students to portray and allow normalcy to come to the Campus and its environs, the authorities of Obafemi Awolowo College, Ile Ife, have faith accordingly closed down the School till extra behold. Here is to live extra breakdown of legislation and portray.

READ ALSO: OAU announces date for continuation of 2019/2020 academic session

“In see of this, all college students are hereby directed to vacate their halls of position and the campus most up-to-date by 12: 00 midday on Saturday, 2nd October, 2021.”

It added that the university management has keep in keep the machinery to solve the “conditions surrounding the cause(s) of the disaster, whereas the swearing-in of the newly elected college students’ union officers has been positioned on succor, pending a analysis of the bother.”

The senate of the university on 4 October met and deliberated on the enchancment, and mandated the management to probe the sigh.

The senate’s directive angered many stakeholders including fogeys and unionists, who condemned the senate for prioritising the probe of the sigh over the conditions main to the demise of the pupil.

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