Protest continues as students beg Buhari to reopen OAU

Femi Makinde, Osogbo

Workers at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile -Ife, Osun State, on Monday, said that they would continue to protest until the Federal Government appointed an acting vice-chancellor for the institution.

The workers, comprising members of the Senior Staff Association of Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions of the school, are demanding the reversal of the appointment of Prof. Ayobami Salami as the new VC.

The two unions, which started their protest in June, accused the Governing Council of the institution of not following due process in appointing Salami.

The NASU Chairman, Mr. Wole Odewumi, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, said they would continue to occupy the Senate Building until the Federal Government did the “needful.”

He said, “We are not on strike. But we gather in front of the Senate Building every day, including weekends, to protest. We will not stop this until the authorities meet our demands.

“What we are simply asking the Federal Government to do is to appoint an acting VC for the university. We will hand over to the person and stop the protest. There are things inside the Senate Building which we don’t want anybody to steal and that is why we are always here.”

The FG, two weeks ago, dissolved the Governing Council and suspended the process of appointing a new VC for the university.

While some lecturers claimed that the appointment of Salami, who the council appointed before its dissolution remained sacrosanct, SSANU, NASU and some other lecturers said only the appointment of an acting VC would end the logjam in the ivory tower.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students and some postgraduate students have called on President Muhammdu Buhari to intervene in the matter and reopen the university

The Deputy Coordinator of NANS in South West, Mr. Saheed Afolabi, made this appeal in an interview with our correspondent on Monday.

Also, Mr. Dipo Alawode, in a statement, on behalf of the PG students, appealed to the FG to reopen the university.

The statement read, “We are tired of staying at home because some unions cannot resolve their differences with the management amicably. Being at home for more than 80 days is no fun at all.

“Our demand is that President Buhari should do all within the law to ensure that we are back to school in the shortest possible time. We understand that the university act says the he cannot appoint an acting VC; that is the duty of the Governing Council. But then he can constitute a new council that will work with the new VC while the aggrieved parties wait for the verdict of the Osogbo High Court.”

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