10 Arrested Over OOU Students Protest


Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta

No fewer than ten students were arrested by the police Monday when students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago-Iwoye in Ijebu North Local Government Area of the State staged a protest against the institution’s decision not to allow unregistered students write the examination scheduled to commence Monday.

The students used two of the Student Union Government buses to block the entrance into the main campus to prevent staff and other students from entering.

The protesting students rejected appeals made to them by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, ASP Mohammed Abdulkadri and the Ijebu Area Commander, Usman Alabi to shelve the planned action and allow movement in and
out of the main campus.

The situation caused stampede at the main gate as police fired tear gas to disperse the students.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the school authorities had directed all the students of the institution to regularise their studentship with immediate effect.

The regularisation, according to the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Saburi Adesanya was in line with the Federal Government’s directive through the National Universities Commission, NUC, requesting all universities to provide a comprehensive students‘ audit within the next six weeks.

Prof. Adesanya added that the only way to achieve this is to compile the list of bona fide students who have been duly registered through payment of their school fees.

Speaking with our correspondent, the Vice Chancellor said, “the protesting students were those who failed to meet the deadline of Friday, 17 May, 2013 to comply with the instruction.

“The deadline has been shifted more than three times to allow them complete their registration which some of them refused to do.”

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In her reaction, the Vice President o the Students Union Government of the institution, Ajayi Kikelomo Oyindamola said they have been trying to resolve the issue of extension of the deadline with the institution for the past three months.

She explained that the students acknowledged that the step of the school authorities was commendable but added that the closure of the school portal for payment and generation of receipt made things difficult for them.

Oyindamola added that the SUG even pleaded on behalf of the affected students who have not paid their school fees for 2010/2011, 2011/2012, and 2012/2013 academic sessions for more extension due to the present economic situation in the country, which did not go down well with the school’s management.

She confirmed that some of the students have spent up to six years and more in the institution as a result of their inability to pay the school fees.

According to the Student Union Leader, “it’s not right for students not to register for a particular session but most of them pay the school fees themselves and even Ogun State government makes things difficult by not paying us bursary allowance.”

The SUG leader says teargas was fired by the police to disperse the protesters, claiming that the police did not shoot at any student.

The Assistant Police Commissioner in charge of Operations, Mr. Mohammad Abdulkadri confirmed that ten suspected rioters have been arrested and two buses seized from them with no casuality recorded.

The students who were sent away from the scene of the protest returned to the Ago-Iwoye township to regroup and make bonfires along the streets, which disrupted vehicular movement within the community.

Muyiwa Adejobi, the State Police Command spokesman confirmed that no student was killed and stated
that some students have been arrested and they were being interrogated.

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