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4 Months After Election, OAU SUG Elected Officers Not Yet Inaugurated

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By Ajibade Abdullah Adewale

The hope of the students of Obafemi Awolowo University on hearing that the Management of the University had reinstated the Students’ Union was restored a few months ago as they have long craved for the overdue reinstatement following its suspension in 2017.

On September 1 and 2, 2021, students of Obafemi Awolowo University came out in mass to exercise their electoral rights by voting for the candidates of their choice to usher in a set of new executive members and members of the Student Representative Council.

Eagle Post News gathered that there’s a total restoration of confidence of the Students of the University, as they gladly took part in the electoral activities and keenly looked forward to what the new administration would offer.

Expressing his feeling following the reinstatement, a final year student, Olaniyi said ” I was happy, it is like giving the students a voice in the development and administration of this university and also, a platform for the students to register our opinions and our grievances.”

However, the students have been left in the dark again with their hope hanging amidst thin air owing to the failure of the management to inaugurate the newly elected officers 149 days after the elections.

Why is the inauguration being delayed?

With the years it took for the reinstatement accompanied by a combination of agitations from all directions, the position of many students is that the management never wanted a Students’ Union body to talk less of a functional one.

Despite the fund devoted to training the electoral commission members to ensure a hitch-free election, and also in conducting the elections, the outcome so far is a delayed inauguration.

A few days ago, Eagle Post News reported how students were served query letters for participating in a protest motivated by the death of a colleague because of the negligence of the health centre as alleged. Among those that were served letters are some of the newly elected officers.

This has provoked thoughts on whether the management is trying to forge anxiety in the minds of the elected union officers and the student populace or want the elected officers to negotiate their freedom in place of dominating the union.

Here, Olaniyi surmised that the management plans to turn the union officers into puppets while they (elected union Officers) appears to maintain their ground.

Meanwhile, Abass Oyeyemi, a former electoral commissioner questioned the silence of the elected union officers. He charged that they should announce if they are scared of taking up Leadership.

An Electoral Commissioner Resigned

Abass Oyeyemi as a Former Electoral Commissioner represented the faculty of law at the Great Ife Students Union Electoral Commission, 19/20 session. He, in a letter dated December 20, 2021, tendered his resignation.

Having done with his undergraduate program, He believed that there’s no need to be getting involved in union affairs when new officers have since been elected. He charged each faculty to instruct their electoral commissioner to resign from the commission, vacate SUB and allow the Central Executive Council as elected by the generality of Great Ife Students start taking charge of union affairs.

“If the management isn’t pleased with that, they can proscribe the union formally,” he furthered.

Reactions

According to an alumnus who preferred to remain anonymous, “Students should assert the independence of their union once and for all. Young people in their late teenage and early 20s should be able to chart the course of their affairs without constant interference from the university management.”
” Can the VC delay the inauguration of NASU elected excos? Can he delay the inauguration of ASUU elected excos? Then why the Students Union?”

Abass Oyeyemi maintained that the management should be transparent in making a decision. “The management should be open on whatever they want as regards the union. Proscription or suspension, any will be much better than this absence of leadership of the union.”
“Upon the election of some of the union officers, there were some rumours that the school management wasn’t interested in the candidacy of some of these students. Continued elongation of the swearing-in of the union officers would only confirm these rumours,” he said.

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Maintaining the Excellence

Over the years, the Great Ife Union has been known for excellence even amidst challenges. Recently, the widespread notion among students is that the current circumstance will disrupt the transition of ideas as students who are inclined to the direction the union is overseen are already graduating.

However, Oyeyemi reacted that this doesn’t mean that there won’t be a transition of ideas.
“Even when the union was proscribed in 2010 and returned in 2013, there were still conscious voices on ground,” he maintained while speaking with Eagle Post News.

To sail forward, Abass buttressed, “Three quotes were passed to us and it’s always passed from generation to generation. Every generation out of relative obscurity must discover its mission, which it either fulfills or betrays. The day we start keeping quiet on issues that affect us is the day we start dying. Students of Great Ife, unite and fight, you’ve nothing to lose but your chains.”

Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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