Following the reinstatement of the Students’ Union activities in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, the institution’s management on Tuesday, inaugurated the SU Electoral and Petition Commission.
This was made known in a statement by the spokesperson of the school, Abiodun Olanrewaju.
The decision is coming four years after its proscribed the students’ body, citing security reasons.
Mr Olanrewaju said the electoral body was inaugurated by the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Isiaka Aransi, who encouraged the youngsters to emulate their counterparts in “the developed world where student leaders engage management in dialogue in order to meet the academic and welfare needs of fellow students.
“This, according to him, is done through the unions’ investment drives, provision of scholarships, work and study programmes, among others. He advised the students not to be confrontational and aluta-focused in their approach. Rather, they should employ constructive engagement and dialogue to resolve issues with the management.”
On his part, the university vice-chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, mandated the Division of Students’ Affairs to set in motion concrete steps to achieve the installation of vibrant and more articulate students’ unionism.
“Professor Ogunbodede enjoined the students to see unionism as an incubating stage of socio-political leadership where they could learn rudiments of how the people, states, and nations are governed.
“The Vice-Chancellor, therefore, charged the Dean of Students Affairs, Professor Aransi, to do all within his power to sensitise the generality of students on the need to see and nurture the union without any rancour or fracas.”
“It is the expectation of the University community is for the Electoral Commission to conduct free, fair and credible elections while the Electoral Petition Commission is to handle all complaints arising from the election, with high sense of duty and decency, without fear or favour.”
The management of OAU, in 2017, suspended union activities on the argument that it had plunged the school into embarrassment following students’ incessant protests.
Since then, the students lacked a body to engage the management on their behalf in the event of concerns over poor delivery of services.
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