Michael Olanrewaju, Osogbo.
Students of Obafemi Awolowo University have decried the poor level of welfare, victimization and attacks in the institution.
The students under the aegis of Action Committee of the Great Ife Students’ Union disclosed this during a press conference at the Correspondents’ chapel in Osogbo on Tuesday.
The group which was led by comrade Dunsin Olowolafe said they are challenging the power of a Vice Chancellor, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede to proscribe a democratic union of the institution.
He said it was discovered that the reason for proscribing the union and setting the unfavourable accommodation policy was when the management tried to increase the tuition fees at the faculty of Health Sciences to about N85, 000.
Olowolafe said the management selected some new Hall executive to impose unfavourable accommodation policy on the students.
He said: “The accommodation policy was a wicked response to the crisis of congestion on the university campus.
” The residential hostels which accommodated about 70 percent of the students was decongested by driving majority of the students to town/off campus, a situation which degenerated into a transportation crisis on the campus.
He noted that through research, most of the expensive hostels off campus are owned by administrators of the institution, stressing that it explains the unethical passion with which the unfavourable policy was carried out.
Olowolafe said the students who are now living in town are facing untold hardship of hike in house rent and exposed to series of crimes and attacks.
The group demands a probe of the Vice Chancellor and recovery of funds meant for the construction of four new affordable halls of residences.
They also demanded for a democratically elected students’ union, an end to ban on the freedom of students to associate freely, end to brutality by porters, school security and the police.
Others are sufficient and quality lecture theatres and residential hostels, proper funding of education sector with at least 26 percent of the country’s budget, public probe of all released to the institution, payment of all owed wages and allowances of education workers and the implementation of new minimum wage.
Reacting, the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju explained that some students’ have to live off- campus because the institution have 6,000 bed space whereas there 13,000 students’ in the first year and final year respectively, saying, there is no algebra equation with which the university management could provide accommodation for all.
He added that the management has approached several individuals and organizations requesting for their partnership with the institution to provide hostel accommodation for the students which has not yielded fruits.