The suspension placed on the activities of the Students’ Union of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, may be lifted once there is assurance of responsible behaviour, the Vice Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, has said.
Mr. Ogunbodede hinted at the condition for the restoration of the union in an exclusive interview with Premium Times on Tuesday.
The management of the school had placed indefinite suspension on the activities of the Students’ Union on Monday, citing cases of violence and unruly behaviour contained in security reports.
Speaking with our correspondent, Mr. Ogunbodede clarified that the management had not proscribed the union.
“The management of the institution did not proscribe the union but only suspended the activities of the union,” he said.
He, however, insisted that the suspension was “inevitable” because of the reports of fighting among the union officers and to “also to allow the tenure of the present irresponsible leaders pass away.”
While making conditional commitment to restoration of the union, he, nevertheless, indicated that it may not happen so soon – at least not the current academic session which covers the “tenure of the present irresponsible leaders.”
The vice chancellor reiterated the call for responsible behaviour on the part of the students, whom he said should resolve their differences and make OAU a model to other institutions as condition for restoration of their union.
The suspension of the union may have a negative effect on the hopes of recall of recently suspended students, whose sympathisers use the union as a rallying point of agitation.
At least, four student leaders are on indefinite suspension over allegations of involvement in violent activities.
But beyond that, the students now lack a body to engage the management on their behalf in the events of concerns over poor delivery of services.
Before the latest development in the crisis prone institution, the union president, Oyekan Edward, was removed from office by the legislative arm of the union.
The parliamentarians accused Mr. Edward of convening suspected cultists to the university campus ”to disturb the peace of the institution.”
The motion for the sack of the president was deliberated by 51 members of the Students Representative Council at their sitting on Saturday at the Awolowo Café.
Mr. Edward has dismissed his removal saying the process was illegal.