— We’re suspecting some underlying factors behind violent protest
Dayo Johnson Akure
The Vice Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state, Prof. Olugbenga Ige, has described the recent violent protest by students which led to the destruction of the institutions properties as needless and unfortunate.
Ige while speaking at the end of an assessment tour of buildings and other properties damaged by the students during the protest, said the University Management had acceded to the pleas of Student Union leadership to suspend the ‘No Registration, No Examination’ policy of the Institution before the ugly incident.
The Registrar, Olugbenga Arajulu; Bursar, Tobi Orina; University Librarian, Dr. Oluyemisi Olorunfemi; as well as Deans, Directors, and other senior officers accompanied the Vice Chancellor on the assessment tour.
The Vice Chancellor said that “It’s really unfortunate. We didn’t expect this level of destruction from our students because ever since this administration came on board, the interest of our students has been very central in our governance structure.
“Therefore, this destructive protest is very painful and unexpected. Even if they have the constitutional right to protest, they certainly do not have any right to destroy properties.
“All we did was to ask them to register for their courses, but very few among them went round to destroy properties and disrupt the examination that had already started.
“I also find it difficult to believe that our students could wreak this havoc on the University because we have been very fair to them.
“There is no request they brought that we did not approve. Though the ‘No Registration, No Examination’ policy was a Council decision, when the Student Union Executives, Student Representative Council, as well as the Presidents of all Faculty and Departmental Associations met with me on Friday to plead for those who were yet to pay, I assured them that we would listen to their pleas.
“By the following Monday, the Registrar issued a circular, allowing all students to write the examinations. And when the examinations began, all the students were allowed in.
” So, there was no reason for the destruction of properties that we have witnessed. That is why I believe there could be some underlying factors behind the violent protest, and we shall get to the bottom of it.”
Meanwhile, Prof lge had empathised with members of staff of the University and visitors whose personal properties were damaged, promising that the ‘Management will do the needful very soon’.