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Obafemi Awolowo University Queries Student Activists For Protesting Colleague’s Death Due To Poor Health Services

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The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Students Union President, Vice-president and eight others have been queried for their involvement in a protest over the death of a fellow student.

The university gave a 48-hour ultimatum for them to respond to the query that questioned the students for pelting university officers and the public relations officer of the university with sachets of water.

It was learnt that some of the affected students are members of the #RevolutionNow movement, and this could have put them in the spotlight.

Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife had staged a peaceful protest in October over the death of a final year student of Foreign Languages department, Aisha Adesina.

The late Adesina was said to have died at Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Ile-Ife, where she was referred to by the university’s health centre.

The students accused the university’s health centre of poor management of Miss Adesina’s case, and for allegedly delaying in its response when the deceased presented herself to the centre.

Each of the affected students were said to have received their separate query letters from their departments as the 2021/2022 session commenced on January 9, 2022, asking them to explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them for leading the protest.

According to FIJ, one of the queried students denied all seven allegations in his query.

“I was not even on campus on the first day of the protest,” the student, who asked not to be named, said.

“I joined the protest the second day, but all the allegations filed against me are false. I am still consulting on how best to respond to the allegations,” the student said.

Another student, who was also queried, said it was a usual practice, noting that the letter was neither dated nor the time of collection appended with his signature.

“The query is no big deal to me,” he noted. “This is not the first time I am receiving their queries. As far as I am concerned, the query is unofficial because nothing documented that I received it.

“I was only called by my colleague to go pick up a letter from my faculty. The letter was neither dated nor the time of collection appended with my signature. So, how am I supposed to count the 48-hour ultimatum?”

He said he did not play “any significant role in the protest” to justify an investigation by the university. He also said the school’s panel only submitted names of prominent student activists.

However, OAU’s public relations officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, said, “The students were the arrowheads of the protest.”

“The query is just for them to explain some issues raised. As matriculated students of the university, they are adjudged to have known their matriculation oaths. If they have not broken any oaths, there will be no problem,” he said.

“But, if, through omission, negligence or any intentional act, the students broke the oaths in the course of their protests, there could be sanctions.

“I will advise them to humbly address the highlighted issues in due time for amicable resolution,” he noted.