The Save OAU Campaign of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State has called on the school authorities to refund the acceptance fees paid by students in the first year.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the body stated that there was no transparency in the system while promising to embark on strike if there were no changes.
It also called for the immediate reopening of the campus for academic activities with the necessary COVID-19 safety installations in place.
It read, “With the Federal Government’s directive to all federal institutions to stop the payment of acceptance fee by fresh students, and refund all paid acceptance fee, most of reputable Nigeria federal institutions, including the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University have decided to hoard the money and made no attempt to refund it. This clearly shows how greed, corruption, and other ignominious acts are intrinsic in the university system!
“The Obafemi Awolowo University fresh students are however taken aback that the institution made her newly admitted students go through the unnecessary and rigorous stress of drafting and printing of letters, yet all was in vain! Not even a student received an alert!
“It’s quite glaring that it has never crossed the minds of the institution, despite knowing the appalling economic situation of this country, that Nigerian parents and students alike go through hell before they could source for the huge amount of money requested for.
“Students were affected in the deadly coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the country. This pandemic resulted in lockdown of several states in the country, blocking the means of livelihood of the students at the Obafemi Awolowo University. This however begged the question: where was the institution when her newly admitted students felt an urgent need for this money? Why can’t they compensate them (Obafemi Awolowo University’s newly admitted students) during this deadly crisis? But it’s obvious our institutions have also worn the cloaks of greediness.
“In order for the aforementioned university to retain the good name she is noted for, she should therefore wear the garment of transparency and accountability. The refund of the acceptance fee will really go a long way in alleviating the financial problems of her students, especially her newly admitted ones; helping them purchase school necessities.
“If there is however no further attempt to refund the acceptance fee, the fresh students of the institution would then embark on a protest against the ignominious act of the university.
“We call for the immediate and safe reopening of all tertiary institutions for academic activities as the delay is baseless. COVID-19 safety installations such as test centres, oxygen equipment, hand sanitisers etc., must be inserted into the university infrastructure to prevent exposing students to the coronavirus.”
The body also urged the Nigerian government to implement the agreements made with the Academic Staff Union of Universities after the recently suspended strike.
“We say that this must be done with immediate effect in order to prevent the academic staff from downing tools again. To this end we say that failure to comply with our demands will be met with mobilisation of the rank-and-file Great Ife students for action,” it also read.