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Following a protest by some students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on October 5, over incessant power outage, two other students of the institution were served suspension letters on Thursday.
According to the letters signed by the registrar of the school, Dotun Awoyemi, copies obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the students were suspended for alleged criminal activities pending the investigation of the police.
The two students, Omole Ibukun, a 500 level of Department of Civil Engineering and John Udeh, a 200 level student of the Department of Arts and Social Education were accused of “forcefully sending students out of the class under the guise of protesting an alleged unsatisfactory power supply, blocking of roads and hijacking of a bus of some of the members of the NURTW.”
The management had also, during the week suspended a Students’ Union officer, Oluwalade Babatunde, indefinitely for leading the protest against bad welfare conditions.
The university had also said the suspension will be in place pending police investigation over alleged criminal activities.
Mr. Babatunde, a 400-level student of the Department of English, who is the chairman of the Transport Management Commission of the union, received his letter of suspension Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, there are speculations among the students of the institution that more of them will soon be suspended for the same reasons.
The students’ union president, Oyekan Ibukun, has called for solidarity in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES:
“The University Management has taken it too far by suspending some of our gallant and vibrant comrades for no known cause but what was cooked up to victimize them. This, we fully stand against as a union. As a union, we shall stand fully against all forms of oppression and victimization from any angle or any tower”, he said in the statement.
The recent spate of suspensions by the school is perhaps reminiscent of a trend in Nigerian universities where student leaders are punished for leading students to protest bad welfare conditions such as poor power supply, bad hostel conditions, and inadequate teaching facilities.
Similar suspensions in the past, have also been carried out at the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos.
The suspensions are however unrelated to the recent suspension of two other officers of the OAU Students Union.
The vice president, Jacob Tosin, and director of socials, Adedayo Afolabi were suspended for engaging in violence over the sharing of about N3 million largesse.