Students lament as OAU fails to provide identity cards

Obafemi Awolowo University

Both fresh and returning students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, are yet to be given valid identity cards for 2016/2017 session, which is almost over, findings have revealed.

Our correspondent found returning students still use now expired identity cards given to them last session, while fresh students several months after gaining admission are yet to be given any means of identification.

The identity cards the returning students carry have expired since October 2016.

The failure of the management, which casts show of inefficiency, has not only made the affected students victims of harassment, but many of them are denied access to places and vital opportunities within and outside the campus.

There is limit to what they can do in terms registration for external programmes, like scholarship, internship, conference and all that since they have no means of valid identification, according to what the students told our correspondent.

But while external restrictions are understandable, they are also some times denied access by agents of the school that has failed to give them identity cards in good time.

“It even becomes bothersome when staff of the university, who are also aware of this fact, still deliberately disturb students for means of identification at examination centres, practical classes and other avenues,” said Samuel Dunsi, a student of Computer Science.

The student continued: “It affects the Direct Entry students more; at least, majority of their course mates carry identity cards, though expired.”

Added to poor state of learning infrastructure in the school, OAU students do not have best of experience, a shocking departure from what was obtainable in the years before now in the school, regarded as “Africa’s most beautiful campus”.

Many students, unable to come to terms with the non-distribution of identity cards several months into a session, think the school is deliberately compounding their difficulties.

The students who spoke with our correspondent said that they have missed countless opportunities as a result of no means of identification.

Worse still, there are even some returning students who were not given identity cards in the last session. So, whether expired or not, these students have no means of identification at all, like their counterparts in year 1.

One of them, a 200 level student, who simply identified himself as Segun, said his parents at home did not know the colour of the university ID card or what it looks like because he was never given one in 100 level as a fresh student.

“I am almost done with 200 level and I don’t even have 100 level ID card. My parents did not know what our university ID card looks like. I have been denied of many opportunities,” Segun lamented.

“Students who seek financial assistance from foreign organizations, require a valid student identity card and failure to produce that leads to denial; and in the event of presenting an expired identity card, it can be equated to a criminal offence as contained in the constitution of the land”, Funke Adeosun in the Faculty of Law said.

When our correspondent called the Dean of Students Affairs, Isiaka Aransi, for comment on this report, he responded that he would get back to us because he was at the time in a meeting.

However, Mr. Aransi did not call back as at the time of filing this, More than 48 hours after he promised.

Repeated calls to his phone were not answered. He also did not reply a text. It was the same experience with the school’s spokesperson, Abiodun Olanrewaju.

A similar demand, through protests, for identity cards by students of the University of Ibadan was one of the reasons for suspension of the Students’ Union at the university.

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