Students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife on Monday expressed their reservations against the planned visit of the Nigerian Vice -president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo into the campus to attend the 43rd combined convocation of the university holding next week.
The students, through their representative, Gbenga Ololoniran, who is the Protem Chairman, Students’ Union Action Committee, described the planned visit as an aberration, saying the Vice-president had been part of problem confronting Nigerian universities.
He said the APC led administration’s policy on education was totally anti-poor, which tends towards making it difficult for the children of average Nigerian to access qualitative education and become well informed to challenge the old political order.
He noted that the struggle against this abysmal situation in the education sector and the citadel in particular had led to victimisation and repression of students’ activists and proscription of students’ movement.
“At this period where the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike across universities, including OAU, over the rotten state of university education, it is still a shock to us that the only solution provided by the government is for tertiary students to begin to pay N700,000 as tuition fee per session.
“We, therefore, see the presence of such anti-student figure of the government in an academic arena to be a guest speaker, as a rape of our collective intelligence in a university where students’ academic activities are currently battered by the nationwide industrial action of ASUU.
“We make bold to assert that Prof. Osinbajo is not welcome on OAU campus”, Ololoniran said.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to retrace it’s steps and work towards adequate funding of education by committing at least 26 per cent of the country’s budget as against the paltry seven per cent to the education sector.
In a swift reaction, the Public Relations Officer of the Institution, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju described the threat expressed by the students’ leader as personal opinion of Ololoniran, saying” in fact, the OAU Community, particularly the students, are eagerly waiting for a day when either President Muhammadu Buhari or Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, or both of them, will come to OAU on a visit.
“The community is ready to give a rousing welcome to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria and renowned Professor of law whose brilliant performance in the present administration has done the academic community proud,” he added.