…advocate free, fair SUG polls
Students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye have dissociated themselves from a protest scheduled to take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Ogun State Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The OOU students, led by the outgoing Students Union Government (SUG) President, Comrade Feyi Adeogun, said they were comfortable with the prevailing conducive environment on campus and will not be party to any impending disruption of public peace by the disgruntled organisers of the protest.
Addressing students of the University who staged a solidarity rally at the Main Campus, Ago-Iwoye on Monday, Comrade Adeogun also described as “busybodies” some external forces under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) whose interest is at variance with the wishes and aspirations of OOU students.
Armed with placards bearing various inscriptions and chanting solidary slogans, the students warned those stoking unrest and disaffection ahead of the Students Union elections in the institution to desist forthwith or risk their wrath.
They declared their readiness to resist any form of imposition by external elements, even as they alerted relevant authorities to wade in and prevent any action capable of truncating the existing peaceful co-existence in the University.
Flanked by Faculty and Departmental leaders of the varsity, the outgoing SUG President said all stakeholders must rally round the electoral committee to conduct free, fair and credible elections in the interest of all students.
Adeogun explained that after several meetings among stakeholders, the aspirants for various students union positions and their supporters have resolved to go ahead with the election.
He added that the entire students community have implicit confidence in the ability of the electoral committee members to conduct transparent and generally acceptable elections.
Adeogun further pointed out that they were already aware of alleged plans to hire elements who are not students of OOU to cause mayhem under the guise of agitating over SUG elections, stressing that the law enforcement agencies should deal decisively with anyone who breaks the law.
He said, “OOU students are united, we have no issues and so we don’t want any external forces. We can conduct this election free and fair without the overbearing influence of former students who have graduated. We know what we are doing and we want to use this opportunity to convey this to the Management and other relevant authorities.”
“Our attention has been drawn to some funny characters going about plotting the disruption of public peace. I want to tell you that a purported protest that is planned to take place tomorrow at the Governor’s Office, no student of this school is ready to join the protest because we are all satisfied with the pace of progress and development ongoing in this school.”
“I hereby declare personally that I am supporting the students struggle and their interest that the election must hold. The aspirants are saying the election must hold, the Faculty leaders are saying the election must hold, the Departmental leaders are saying the election must hold. Fortunately, ordinary students are saying the election must hold.”
“We are going to mobilize the entire students against any untoward protest. As you can see, the school is doing virtual classes now and this informed why some are not physically present here but they have called us to show their solidarity to what we are doing.”
The SUG President appealed to government and security functionaries, especially President Bola Tinubu and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, to wade into the matter and not allow anyone, irrespective of status and social standing, to meddle into the internal affairs of the University students.
Adeogun appreciated the students for inviting him to address the solidary rally and vowed to do all within his powers to defend their collective interests.
Responding, the Principal Assistant Registrar in the office of the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Joseph Osifeso, commended the students for conducting themselves in a cordial and peaceful manner and assured that their grievances will be communicated to the relevant quarters.
Osifeso, who noted that there is no law against peaceful protest, urged the students to continue to uphold peace and harmony in their engagements with the University Management which, he said, prioritize their welfare and well-being.