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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Gbenga Oloniniran Replied To Official Query From OAU Registrar [Read Full Details]


Gbenga Oloniniran,
                                                                                                                    Department of Geography,
                                                                                                                    Faculty of Social Sciences,
                                                                                                                    Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
                                                                                                                    2nd November, 2018.
To: The Registrar,
Obafemi Awolowo University.

Dear Ma,

RE: OFFICIAL QUERY.

I write in response to the letter from your office dated 25th of October, but received on the 1st of November, and titled Official Query.

In the said letter, You stated that "On 19th October, 2018 at about 5pm, you Gbenga Oloniniran ( a.k.a. Von), led  an illegal group of students under the aegis of "Action Committee of the suspended Students' Union" to hold an illegal meeting with some students and Executive members of Angola Hall of Residence with about forty (40) students in attendance." May I quickly place on record that on the day in question, students gathered in Angola Hall of Residence to discuss issues affecting them as pertaining to buttery exploitation and other welfare challenges, and as a student who has witnessed such exploitation in that hall, I was obliged to join the discussion. In some other climes or other universities, students would have taken laws into their hands, but by the intellectual nature of our university and the studentry, our tradition has always been that students usually discuss all of those issues collectively. And that students are being gaged and threatened from having peaceful gatherings to discuss their problems make mockery of civility. I am even more surprised that I'm being sent a query letter for being in a gathering of such.

However, as you clearly mentioned that it was a meeting of students and their executives, I then wonder how such a meeting of students which was held in broad day light where students and their executives were in attendance to discuss the state of their welfare and the exploitation going on their Hall by the owners of the buttery can be classified to be an illegal gathering of students. May I also assure you, Ma, as citizens of Nigeria and university students for that matter their right to freely associate and gather to discuss issues that touch on their welfare is fully protected by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and so that meeting can not be said to be illegal.

Again, on paragraph two, you said I was "making misleading statement on the Attempt by the university management to increase students school fees at the college of Health Sciences". May I state that it is an open secret among students in the College of Health Sciences that there are steps already taken by the Provost and the College authorities to introduce extra fees on students. On the 18th of October, a meeting was called where the Provost, the Deputy Provost, Dr Aregbesola, Dr Togun and a host of others were in attendance and some group of persons which were classified as parents and in that meeting the sum 85,000 naira which was classified as professional training fee was proposed and adopted by them, there after students have been threatened to call congresses to ratify it. To claim ignorance of this, is to do disservice to truth which we don't expect from your reputable office Ma.

Again, on the continuous proscription and assault on the union, we maintain as always that it is illegal, and that students have rights to freely organise themselves as a union, and as such we demand that the ban on the students' Union must be lifted as the Union is the only platform where students can ventilate their opinions.

On paragraph 3 sub section "v", you stated that "flouting the orders of the university Management after granting you a " compassionate reinstatement ", during the Harmattan Semester, (2017/2018 Academic Session)". May I humbly state that at no time have I been suspended by the university except the illegal and unjust incarceration I suffered at Kosere Prisons by the university, which the Vice Chancellor has since openly denied to be part of.

Permit me, Ma, to say that a society that gags and suppresses the expression of students unjustly will only encourage gangsterism and violent recourse to resolving their problems. This, we have always preached against.

Ma, the culture of Great Ife that our fore fathers have made sacrifice for and have sustained over the years should not be destroyed because of the exigencies of the current moment.

With kind regards to your esteemed office, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to this letter.

Thank you.
Yours faithfully,

Gbenga Oloniniran.
Official query letter from Mrs. M. I. Omosale, OAU Registrar 

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