Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, under the auspices of Action Committee of the Great Ife Students’ Union on Tuesday, decried what they termed unfavourable accommodation policy of the university management.
They accused the university authorities of exposing over 80 per cent of students of the institution to danger of incessant attacks, rape, and molestation, through its new accommodation policy that ejected them out of the hostel to take up accommodation outside the campus.
According to them, students were being attacked and raped on a daily basis outside the campus, citing a case of part two student of the Department of Accounting & Management who died of gunshots recently during a robbery incident at a building occupied by students of the university.
“The latest of brutality and molestation experienced by our students on daily basis outside the campus was five robbery attacks in one night few weeks ago, in which many of our students were victims. ”
The students further alleged that the accommodation policy was specifically conceived to protect certain economic interest at the detriment of the students, saying majority of expensive hostels outside the campus were owned by principal officers of the university.
Addressing pressmen at the NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the Chairman of the Committee, Comrade Olowolafe Dunsi, carpeted the OAU management led by the Vice-chancellor, Prof.
Eyitope Ogunbodede for creating a soft landing for his numerous ” anti-students policies” by prescribing students’ union in the institution on flimsy ground.
“As the congressionally and democratically instituted organ of the students’ union, which was put in place by students in the later part of 2017, when the Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede -led management announced a suspension of the Students’ union, we reserve the responsibility and right to speak on behalf of the great students of the Obafemi Awolowo University.
“Meanwhile, while the union was reported to have been suspended, the university management kept handful of selected Hall Executives Committee to administer students living in the halls of residence.
“The essence of keeping the HEC was made known when a new accommodation policy was introduced last year, as the Hall Executives were used to impose the unfavourable accommodation policy by the management.
“Without mincing words, the accommodation policy was a wicked response to the crisis of congestion on the university campus, Dunsi resorted “.
He further accused the university management, led by the former Vice-chancellor, Prof. Tale Omole of syphoning N5.6 bn NEEDS Assessment Funds released to the university to curb accommodation challenges.
According to him, the funds were released in tranches between 2013 and 2014, in which N4 bn out of the money was meant for building four new affordable halls of residences and the rest to upset workers’ allowances.
“Both purposes were not fulfilled, and the then Vice-chancellor, Prof. Tale Omole had been left off the hook for syphoning these funds, since the completion of his administration. We demand a probe of the Vice-chancellor and a recovery of those funds”.
The students thereafter demanded immediate reinstatement of their union, an end to victimization of students’ activists, and favourable accommodation policy that tends to protect the lives and property of students among other demands.
However, all efforts to get the reaction of the university management practically proved abortive as text messages sent to the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju was not replied as at the time of filing this report.