- Post 23 February 2011
- Last Updated on 24 February 2011
- By Adebulu Taiwo Iyanu
The moon moves slowly but by daylight, it crosses the sky. It all started like a joke when the management of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-ife increased the school fees under the auspices of National Health Insurance Scheme, which was supposed to be optional. The management also increased the acceptance fee of the fresh men from two thousand naira to twenty thousand naira without tenable reasons. The news of the increment came as a shock to students when they were on break. It was a strategic plan by the University management which the students could not fight while they were at home. The fresh men were also speechless and helpless.
Being known for their dogged and intellectual “alutaism”, the students union quickly got their act together to rebuke and debunk the ‘ungodly act’ of the extortionate acceptance fee and increment. All measures were taken by the union leaders to get the University management to the round table to review the acceptance fee saga, with an appeal to make a downward review of the extortionate fee. However, this appeal to Caesar was fruitless as the management was said to be unco-operative towards the review. The union devised several means through which they can get the attention of the principalities and powers of the University to their ordeal, which include lecture boycott, protests, correspondence and barricade. The imbroglio gathered momentum when the University management resorted to intimidating and arresting Union leaders and student activist to quash and weaken the students.
Since the University management has learnt to shoot without missing, then students’ Union has learnt to fly without perching. The union leaders went back to the drawing board to devise their own means since the University management has decided not to listen to their pleas but resorted into undue intimidation and arrest of students. The Students union declared a lecture boycott on the twenty first of February which happens to be two days before the matriculation. Students trooped out of their halls of residence like bats out of hell to register their plight and protest the unfavourable and undemocratic policy of the University management and to press home their demands. Roads were blocked and aluta songs were chanted.
The Egypt-like protest continued to the next day when the demands of the students fell on deaf ears. Students went for the jugular and decided to go bananas and ballistic. The University gates were locked, roads across the University were blocked and traffic was put on hold. The protest took different dimension and the university turned into an atmosphere that one could cut with a knife.The sad news came early in the morning of Wednesday, the matriculation day, from a radio station situated in the ancient city that the University management has decided to close the institution due to the growing unrest and tension on campus. The students were ordered to evacuate the Halls of residence. Some students responded by vacating the Halls and some were seen making a joke of the matter. The closure of the University came at a time when the University community was about to witness important events which include matriculation of Fresh students, induction, convocation and the opening of the historic multi million naira Natural museum