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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) led by Bamidele Akpan and vice chancellor, Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof Kayode Soremekun have come together to dialogue to fashion out ways of restoring peace to the troubled institution.
The student leaders met with Soremekun at the conference hall of the school’s central administration in Oye campus where they reviewed the recent event that led to the death of some students and subsequent closure of the university, lifting the ban on student union activities as well as reopening of the institution.
Addressing the management led by Prof Soremekun, the NANS president commiserated with the school on the recent crisis and subsequent killing of two of its members.
He said, “We are here first to sympathise with the school on the unfortunate death of two of our members. Having completed our fact-finding, we came to the conclusion that the protesting students acted within the ambience of the law. Students’ protest in other climes and none was killed. We have had cause to caution whenever hoodlums hijack such protests to foment trouble. In this case, nothing of such happened; students protested peacefully.
“One thing is clear, your students were orderly and peaceful, to that extent we are satisfied with what they did. We can only call for peace and say everyone should allow peace to reign. We met with the Oye-Ekiti monarch and interacted with him and what we discussed was the need to have peace.
“We have heard about the closure of the university which was done to ensure that normalcy returned. We appeal that it is time to reopen the school with the assurance that nothing bad will happen. We also want to call for your support for the students’ union government. I appeal to you to lift the ban on the proscription of FUOYE SUG.
On his part, the vice chancellor who lauded the message of peace preached by Akpan said his action was an indication that there is a great deal of hope for this country, contrary to the narrative that our youths are unreliable.
Describing the demands of the students as legitimate, Prof Soremekun said the issue of power is not only about functionality but about our economy.
On the issue of streetlights, the vice chancellor said, “This country has many tertiary institutions, which are all being run by FG. We only access very small money from government but what we have is not enough, we are only supplementing that with fees from students. Our fees are low but the huge number of students can help. We will put the streetlights in place once students begin to pay.
On the reopening of the university, the vice chancellor said, “As soon as practicable, we will reopen the school because it is in our own interest.”
Speaking on the alleged harassment of a female student by a professor in the institution, the vice chancellor said before the staff disciplinary committee could deliberate on the panel report set up to look into the matter, the culprit resigned his appointment.
” It was then that it dawned on us that we had to review the university law because there was a lacuna that made offenders to getaway. We have since put measures in place to forestall a repeat of the development.