The premier University of Ibadan (UI) was shut down on Democracy’s Day which doubled as the incumbent Oyo state government’s sixth anniversary in office, in spite of the threatening students’ protest which was said to have disrupted the use of International Conference Centre, Ibadan for Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s the media interactive session that day.
As much as the state’s government put up a glowing smile that day with a hope for a bright future in the state, the case was not the same for the students of the University of Ibadan. The school was shut down and Students’ Union suspended alongside its leaders.
However, the closure of the institution would have been averted if some issues orchestrated by these key players were meticulously addressed.
Below are the key players and their roles in the crisis:
#1: Ojo Aderemi
He is the incumbent Students’ Union President of University of Ibadan. He undoubtedly mobilized his colleagues for the protest that led to the closure for the learning citadel on May 29, 2017. The reasons that led to their protest were hinged on the “insensitivity” of the management to release recent Students’ ID cards for the forthcoming examinations after two years and the ban against the use of hotplates by students.
Earlier before the demonstration, Aderemi spoke with the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adekunle Odude who warned the union against protest outside the campus building.
#2: Mr. Adekunle Odude
Mr. Odude is the Oyo State Commissioner of Police in charge of ensuring peace and order of the state.
He placed a ban against the protest of students on Democracy’s Day and even till now.
He was said to have threatened not to spare the lives of the aggrieved UI students which fuelled the crisis after institution’s closure.
While speaking with the union president, he said these:
“If you (students) come out of the University of Ibadan tomorrow (Tuesday 30th of May), I’ll deal with anybody that does that. If you want to protest, protest within your University.”
“Go and warn your students. If they like their lives, none of them should come out of that school. If any student comes out tomorrow in protest and blocks any road, I’ll deal with them.”
Now, the Oyo CP has issued an arrest warrant on Aderemi Ojo, the Students’ Union President of UI.
#3: Prof. Abel Olayinka
Prof. Abel Olayinka is the Vice- Chancellor of the oldest university in Nigeria, University of Ibadan. He has the autonomous power to declare the closure of the federal university if needs be and he just did!
On May 29th, 2017, he took to the university’s radio station, Diamond FM to announce the shut down of UI and the suspension of the first semester’s examination following the protest of the university’s students.
The next day, he also declared the suspension of the students’ union leaders and the union-related activities.
He was said to have travelled to the US for his son’s convocation programme.
According to him, the school is set to reopen on July 17 while the closure has not affected the postgraduate studies.