Obafemi Awolowo University reopens four weeks after closure

The panel investigating allegation of sexual harassment against a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun State, Mr. Olabisi Olaleye, has submitted its report to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede.

Four weeks after it abruptly shut down the institution over students’ protest, the management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has announced resumption details.

A statement issued on Friday and signed by the university’s public relations officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, disclosed that students are to resume to their various halls of residence on November 5, while their aborted examinations will continue on Saturday, November 6, “in tandem with what was previously on the ground.”

Mr Olarewaju noted that the decision was made at an emergency meeting of the Senate held on Friday.

The university was shut down on October 2 following a protest by the students over the death of a final year student of the foreign languages department, Aisha Adesina.

The statement reads in part: “Parents and guardians are hereby advised to inform their children and wards, particularly those who have already finished their examinations to stay at home so that none of them would use the excuse of the reopening of the University to do something untoward,” the statement said.

It added that the vice-chancellor of the university, Eyitope Ogunbodede, charged the students to be law-abiding and not to engage in anything that could further elongate the session.

The management of OAU ordered the indefinite shutdown of the university after the students staged a peaceful protest over the death of Miss Adesina.

The late Adesina was said to have died at Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Ile-Ife, where she was referred to by the university’s health centre.

Following her death, the students blocked the university’s main gate in protest.

Sources among the protesting students accused the university’s health centre of poor management of Miss Adesina’s case, and for allegedly delaying in its response when the deceased presented herself to the centre.

But in its reaction to the allegation, the university denied the accusations, and condemned the protest, describing it as a wrong approach to resolving the problem.

The management noted in a statement that it “understands the grief after the loss of the student, but will not tolerate the continuous and uncontrolled protest by the students.”

“It added that the university management has put in place the machinery to unravel the “circumstances surrounding the cause(s) of the crisis, while the swearing-in of the newly elected students’ union officials has been put on hold, pending a review of the situation.”

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