Tuesday, 10 November 2015

OAU Undergraduates And Postgraduates Clash Over Football Match

By Kayode Emmanuel

The final U-17 World Cup match between Nigeria and Mali that held on Sunday night, specifically at 11:00pm led to some unforeseen clash 'twixt the postgraduate and the undergraduate students of Obafemi Awolowo University as the later was denied access to see the match in the PG hall, Muritala Mohammed Hall of Residence.

Since the commencement of this year's edition of the tournament, OAU undergraduates have not been privileged to see the games including the semi final match of the U-17 World Cup that was only shown at the PG hall  because the other halls complained that DSTV, which is the popular cable in most halls, had no right to cover the world cup so, all hope lied on the alternative cable in the PG Hall. It was garnered that although they eventually allowed undergraduates in for the semi-final match against Mexico, they had plans to impede their coming back in for the final match for one reason or the other.

However, our correspondent was able to pile around some of the reasons that the postgraduate students gave for their action at the heyday of the clash. In the words of a postgraduate student at the scene of the incident; "...they came in through the the windows the other time we allowed them in".

Another postgraduate student who obviously was not glad about the development also claimed; "they are bunch of mad people that see protests as the only way to all matters within the campus"

Another postgraduate student gave the reason for denying the undergraduate students access as simply academic seniority, he said; "we are postgraduates and their seniors for God sake and for that alone, we are not allowing them in... when we were at their stages of academics, we dared not enter the PG hall for anything".

Responding to the clash in a bid to settle it, the Public Relations Officer of the OAU Students' Union, Ojedokun Emmanuel a.k.a Immanuel Kant came early enough to the scene, but when it seemed all his efforts were bearing the picturesque futility by the PG and UG students, the President of the Students' Union was called upon. However, in the course of the president's talks with the postgraduate students, some undergraduates tried to force their way in. Angered by the actions of the undergraduates that forced their way in, a postgraduate student then sped put of the show room and picked a stick from table tennis court which he almost landed on an undergraduate's head in a bid to send them back. In the process, some undergraduate students were assaulted physically and their clothes torn to shreds.

At the end of the match,  the President of the Union in his address to the undergraduate students further expressed his disappointment towards the postgraduates and further went on to apologise to the students for not providing alternative options. In his words; "I, on behalf of all in one office or the other in my administration tender apology for not providing you the cable that should show the match which sequelled your coming here to scythe through this pitiful state this night." He continued that the Union would henceforth be less concerned about the state of the Postgraduate Hall and the postgraduate students. When they have issues plaguing them, they should resolve it on their own and should never again come for assistance from the Students' Union."

The mood was however brightened for most following the win of Nigeria in the finals, making it the fifth time Nigeria would be winning the cup. Coincidentally, the first time Nigeria won was in 1985 during the military rule of then Gen. Muhammad Buhari who is now the civilian president of the country.

Following the ugly incidence that transpired during the football match, there are now claims that signs have been put in the Muritala Mohammed Postgraduate Hall disallowing Undergraduate students to enter the Hall henceforth. With this, the rift between the undergraduates and postgraduate students of the Obafemi Awolowo University may continue to exist and we would hope for the sake of peace and synergy that both parties can resolve their differences.

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