Obafemi Awolowo e National Association of Nigerian Students has given the management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife a condition to suspend its planned mass protest against the suspension of the Students’ Union in the institution.
They gave the conditions after meeting with the management of the institution, according to a statement by the Public Relations Officer of NANS in South-West, Kazeem Israel, on Thursday.
The students’ body had given a seven-day ultimatum to the management of OAU and other institutions in the South-West to reinstate their students’ union.
Reacting, the OAU management announced plans to reinstate its students’ union after its Senate meeting.
Our correspondent gathered that during the meeting with the OAU management, officials of NANS threatened that it would order mass mobilisation of students to the university campus if no positive outcome is gotten from the Senate meeting.
It was also learnt that many aggrieved student leaders across the South-West have put pressures on the leadership of NANS to lead a mass protest in OAU over students’ union suspension.
“If we hold a mass protest in OAU, other institutions will learn. Most of them emulate OAU when it comes to unionism. We can have a peaceful warning protest of 500 students mobilised across the region,” a former Students’ Union president told our correspondent.
However, Israel in the statement said NANS delayed its decision to hold the mass protest hoping that OAU management would fulfil its promise.
Part of the statement read, “It is public knowledge that the leadership of NANS Zone D, in fulfilling the mandate placed on them by the mass of Nigerian students in the Zone, had, on the 6th of this month called on the management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and the management of LASPOTECH, YABATECH and UNILAG to reinstate the institutions’ suspended Students’ Unions within seven working days.
“The seven-day ultimatum elapses today (Thursday) and we are expected to signal all organs of the association that are already on red alert to mobilise heavily to Obafemi Awolowo University to demand the unconditional reinstatement of the Students’ Union till our demand is met.
“It is instructive to note that the management of Obafemi Awolowo University through the Division of Students’ Affairs replied the leadership of the Zone and the entire Nigerian students in the institution via a circular that processes to ensure the reinstatement of the Students’ Union had begun even before the ultimatum was issued.
“However, the Division of Students’ Affairs of the institution called for a ‘truce’ meeting with the leadership of the association in the Zone to discuss issues as regards suspension and reinstatement of the Students’ Union.
“The leadership of the Zone, during the meeting, maintained that the Vice-Chancellor of the University should communicate the general public via a written statement that the Students’ Union of the institution has been reinstated at the latest, Friday, after the conclusion of the University’s Senate meeting where resumption of students is meant to be discussed. “Both the DSA and the CSO assured the leadership of the Zone that the VC shall communicate adequately.”