Below is the resolution of the Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ Union Government meeting yesterday regarding the issue of fee increment in the institution and matters arising:
Today, the leadership of the Union met to holistically assess all matters that have occurred ever since the closure of the Varsity on 18th June,2014. Our struggle ever since we have maintained its intellectual posture and legal coloration, we have ensured the total avoidance of violent actions and any actions that can be identified as violent up till now is against the order of the Union.
The holy books proposed the injunction of counting our blessings and seeing the doings of the lord. In line with this we make bold to recount some of the effects of our intellectual struggle; unlike in the recent history, we protested against closure of school even in the face of intimidating-looking policemen. We attracted and still attracting public sympathy and formidable personalties and bodies. The University management had to swallow its pride to even employ our tactics such as embarking on leafleteering in market places, pasting of posters everywhere on campus and in Ife town just because our campaign has continued to subdue them. We even gathered that the VC has been subjected to a lot of summons from higher authority. Our constructiveness has obstructed all plots to proscribe the Union. The dignity of the union restored and sustained beyond expectations. We the current generation of Great Ife stunned our critics and skeptics!
For about seven hours the union leadership engaged in an holistic and dialectical analysis of the issue of increment, reopening of the campus, matters arising and the yearnings of Great IFE students. Accordingly, the resolutions of the Union are as follows:
> On Mysterious Fire Outbreak in Awo Hall:
The fire outbreak in Awo we consider a blast due to the magnitude of the havoc wrecked in the room. To this end we have called on the Federal Government, the SSS, the Police Area Command and other security agencies to conduct a thorough and independent investigation of the matter.
>On Closure of SUB on Thursday,10th July:
We consider this an affront on our right to freedom of association. However, as legally minded individuals we have decided not to face illegality with illegality and as such we gave the management a 24-hour ultimatum to re-open the building else we take legitimate steps to ensure its reopening. We reject any form of violence or confrontation with security men on the campus as this action by some individuals is against the order of the Union. Ours is not to engage in any fruitless power tussle with any individual or superiority contest as the case may be but to engage matters as intellectuals and contemporary unionists. You don’t give your opponent the opportunity to change the issue to tissue.
>On the Invitation to Panel and the death of one of our legal counsel, Barr. Bamidele Aturu:
We continue to mourn the demise of our legal counsel whose demise news got to us alongside the invitation to appear before an Investigation Panel on Wednesday,16th July,2014. No mind should be perturbed as we still have other legal counsel. We are currently consulting them. We can never be intimidated.
>On proposed rally on Tuesday,15th July,2014 at Ibadan:
the Union has decided to lay to rest this proposed action due to the reasons that the public have enough sensitization on the matter and the fact that the effect of our struggle at this point in time should not only be targetted at the mass of the citizens but the University management and the Federal Government. All our resources concentrated on abuja struggle.
>On July 16th Commencement of Late Registration and Opening of Discussion with the University management And Opening of the School:
The Secretariat of the Union has effected the submission of letters to the University management to open discussions on this issue based on arguments that the closure is not in the interest of either the management or the students, we understand the fact that the closure of the school will affect the rating of the school which is a pride for both students and management,the closure of the school is of great disadvantage to individuals whose livelihood depends on the running of the varsity and the obvious idleness of students at this period in the nation is dangerous. We remain open to discussions based on mutual respect not on intimidation on all matters rumbling presently in the varsity system. A negotiating team has been constituted for we are coming, not only from issue-based angle, but also from solution-informed angle. In the letter,we also demanded that the deadline be extended till after the resolution of the current imbroglio. This letter we copied all security agencies especially the SSS to intimate it of another impending crisis if our democratic and peace-driven requests are not met. All the letters have been dispatched by hand and/or DHL as at the time of writing this report.
To our students, staff members, stakeholders, mediators and the general public, the response of the management to this letter will now show to the world who between the management and the students is heinously adamant and not ready for peace and progress of the varsity.
>Call for Intervention of the new Minister of Education in OAU matter:
The leadership of the Union resolved to demand the immediate intervention of the new Minister of Education,Ibrahim Shekarau with an ultimatum of a week. A failure to intervene within a week will mean a mass mobilization to the Ministry’s Secretariat in Abuja for an “Operation Occupy Ministry of Education until our Demands are met”. Our actions now must be channelled to the seat of power. If students of the polytechnic and colleges can do it and get the Ministers attention, we too can do it better! SSS and the Police have been formally informed. A facilitating team has been set up to do the planning. Enough is enough!
Greatest IFE! Articulate IFE! Nobody should force you to pay. The management tactic is unjustified and remains a duress. Let it be noted that no matter how much they want to force students to pay, crisis will still reoccur when students resume. Thus we must first resolve the matter on the table to have a lasting peace. Let’s not make a fatal mistake. In conclusion, we reiterate our commitment. We remain undaunted in this struggle. Our commitment is to achieve peace but peace with justice!
NIL DESPERANDUM AMANDLA AWETU… Never Despair for Nothing Shall Discourage Us!!!
BAMIDELE Oludare J. (P.R.O)
SHITTU I. Olatayo. (Secretary General)
IBIKUNLE Isaac M. (President)