Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union (FOSSU) has said that Victor Olojede, the Special Assistant (Students’ Affairs) to Governor Seyi Makinde, was behind the violence recorded during the convention of the union held on 26 March, 2022.
The union made this known in a press statement signed by Comrade Azeez Muritala (Olowoeko), outgoing President, Senator Ajadi Isaac Oluwasegun, Senate President and made available to newsmen on Saturday.
FOSSU said the convention was inconclusive while demanding a free, fair and credible transition.
The statement read in full: “Solidarity greetings to our esteemed members of Federation of Oyo State Students Union ( National Council). The outgoing administration of our esteemed union has condemned the recent aborted convention of the Oyo State College of Agriculture Igboora, Ibarapa axis of the state on 26th March, 2022.
“It should be recalled that the earlier proposed convention at Ogbomosho on March 6th, 2022 was suspended as a result security intimidation by the Oyo State government, where park managers men were mobilised to the election venue to intimidate and disrupt the peaceful transition program cum Convention, hence resulted to Ibarapa.
“It is no more a news that it has been a usual custom of Oyo state government through Victor Olojede the SA to the governor on students matters, this, has always been his way during students elections across campuses in Oyo state, showing desperacy to impose the leadership of the union.
“All mechanism to ensure they deliver their imposed candidate were deployed to the convention ground. Legitimate student were beaten, threatened, and denied entry to the convention ground, There was an attempt to arrest the electoral chairman to conduct election under duress, Which was later resisted.
“We have considered this as a total show of shame and a rub on the peaceful democratic status of the union by Oyo state government through Victor Olojede, and the union is at the moment sending a sound of warning to him to desist from every act of dividing the peaceful co-existence amongst the students Populace in the state.
“No one advices you not to have your preferred candidate in the election, but, intimidating and beaten up students at the election is against the tradition of the Union, Common sense and Nigeria Constitution. Kindly desist from the act.
“While we await a new convention date by the electoral committee, we urge our members to remain steadfast and the general Fossuite should disregard the falsified posted results as the union is yet to have a new set of leadership.”
Reaction Of Makinde’s SA, Victor Olojede
Meanwhile, the SA (Students’ Affair) to Governor Seyi Makinde, Victor Oloyede, denied the allegation, saying the state government was neutral in the course of the election.
He also added that, contrary to the claim that the convention was aborted, election held and a new set of leadership of FOSSU was elected and it has been duly recognised and congratulated by all the five zones involved.
According to him, being the SA to the governor, his office was duly informed about the decision of the FOSSU to hold its national convention to produce a new national executive for the union.
He said adequate security measures were taken as officers and men of the DSS, Police, Army, Civil Defence and OPC team were on ground at the venue of the election to ensure the protection of lives and property.
“All the five zones that made up the national executive of FOSSU- Ibadan, Oyo, Oke Ogun, Ibarapa and Ogbomoso- were resolute that the election must hold.
“We knew that there would be a crisis because all the zones virtually have one factional crisis or the other. During accreditation, factional issue concerning Ogbomoso zone was resolved.
“The chairmanship was zoned to Oyo Zone and the out-gone chairman said the election would hold. But he later said he wanted to resign and hand over to the second most senior person in the exco, being the secretary. But he was persuaded to let the election hold,” he said.
Oloyede also absolved himself of any involvement in the violence that occured at the venue of the election, adding that it was a sad development.
“I saw the videos of the violence but it is wrong for anybody to link me with it. I am in no way involved. I am not happy with the ugly incident, but that is what they have turned students’ unionism into.
“It is wrong of them to be accusing me of taking sides. It is also very wrong of them to say the election was aborted. To the contrary, election was held and all delegates agreed with the outcome.
“Out of the nine electoral members for the election, six of them signed the result and they issued a memo to that effect. The zonal president of each zone also agreed that there was an election.
“However, I am not surprised about the accusation. When things didn’t work out well with them, they will bring up such an accusation. But the truth is that I am not in any way involved in the while matter. I don’t have issues with anybody.
“After the election was conducted, the police officer who came to witness the election signed the result. The same with the CSO of the school used, the OPC team, DSS team and members of the Civil Defence. The reports are all there at the Igboora Divisional Police Headquarters.
“Out of the five zones involved, four of them immediately wrote congratulatory messages to the new exco. Even the remaining one has acknowledged the new leadership of FOSSU.
“As the SA Students’ Affairs, I will only appeal to all those involved to take the result of the election in good faith. We are open to honest and discussions on issues affecting FOSSU.
“That the election didn’t not go your way does not mean that you should close your eyes to the truth. As young generation of leaders, we have to be honest and truthful always,” he said.