Saturday, 20 September 2014

Students' Union Leaders Speak On Outage of Power And Water Supply



With due civility and veneration, I salute the courage, the doggedness, especially the perseverance and maturity Great Ife students displayed throughout the period in which the university community was devoid of supply of power and water supply became a race up and down the hills. Following actions and reactions that trailed the period, it is considered exigent that a detailed report be given for the sake of proper information.

The ugly situation the university community found itself since Tuesday, 16th of September, 2014, was as a result of a national grid fault at Oshogbo distribution plant. The fault led to outage of power at Oshogbo, Ife, Ilesha and Ondo which definitely did not exclude OAU campus. As at Tuesday, the welfare officer of the Union, Ojogbon, inquired from various concerned offices on campus to know the cause of the outage and the above reason was given. He, with immediate effect issued a release, informing students of the cause of the development as it is expected of an accountable.

The Union on Wednesday, took to further actions in search of the root of the matter and further went on to demand alternative means of power supply from the university management. The university has three generating sets which are not working. The union demanded their immediate resuscitation as students cannot continue in that condition. The hiked fees were said to be to cushion running cost of the university and as such, emergency situations like this should have been prepared for. The Union readily ensured that supply of water was on going using alternative power generating set to pump water and use of water tankers to supply water by putting necessary pressure on the Water section of the university’s department of works. Having reached this point, the P.R.O, Bamidele, therefore, went on to update students in their halls of residence about the state of the matter. The management on Wednesday promised that alternative means of supply of power will be sought.

The unbearable persistence of the situation till Thursday, spurred the union to move on to OAU maintenance department PHCN distribution centre at Ajebandele and the distribution plant at Oshogbo to get a clear view of the situation. It remains part of the guiding principle of the current union leadership to ensure that all truth and falsity are established on all matters before actions are taken. In due course of these moves, it was discovered that engineers have been recruited to trace all the distribution lines throughout the span of the plant’s coverage area. The Oshogbo plant General Manager informed the union leaders that as soon as the whole matter is resolved, light will be restored. He gave assurances of Thursday evening. The union leaders also went to the sites where the tracing was being done. On return to Ife, the management called the union leaders to a meeting where the DVC Academics, Prof. Ayobami Salami on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and the Management expressed regrets about the disheartening situation and promised to provide any form of alternative as soon as possible ranging from fuelling of hostel generators and rotational running of faculty generators to ensure constant provision means of charging phones and reading at the academics area. The union at the meeting however, rejected this arrangement insisting that the university generating sets be repaired regardless of the financial implication of the repair.

The meeting with the University management did not fail to address issues of students who were suspended due to issues of bedspace racketeering especially those that were only suspected to wish to do so. The Union appealed that the University should restore their studentship. Likewise students who have problems with gmail verification and registration but they paid during normal registration also had their matter tendered before the meeting. The Union demanded that the offices of the DVC Academics, DSA, Directorate of Academic affairs and the Computer Centre swing into action on this as quickly as possible as the Union cannot afford the intended exploitation as the affected students are being asked to pay late registration fee.

Light was restored Thursday evening consequent upon the pressure the union mounted on all concerned quarters. OAU having been given priority, the supplied power reached all hostels and academics area but a fault somewhere on the University campus led to the tripping-off of hostel light at about two instances. The Union joined the electrical workers in the midnight in tracing the fault. The union leadership on Friday morning further pressurized the workers at the maintenance department so as to speed up correction of faults. The supply of power had to be ceased from both academics and hostel areas in order to speedily correct all faults being a product of the union’s pressure. Light was restored in the evening on Friday but some halls were still affected and as such the union did not rest until the faults were totally corrected and normalcy was restored everywhere in the University community.

The constitution of Nigeria provides that the welfare and security of the people shall be the priority of every government. As such, the union will always put at it fore the welfare and security of all its members at all times. We tender sincere appreciation to all Great Ife students for bearing with us through this period of hardship.

Amandla Awetu… Nothing shall discourage us

Bamidele Oludare J. Ibikunle Isaac M.
P.R.O President
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