Friday, 8 July 2016

Antagonism Trails #ReopenOAU

It is no more news that the Obafemi Awolowo University has been out of session for about 90 days straight, as a result of a sessional holiday protracted by the eventual shutdown of the institution.  It all began with the 56-working days leave requested for by ASUU-OAU, then the Non Academic Staff Union kicking against the appointment of a new VC, to the eventual dissolution of the governing council of the Institution cum sack of the appointed VC by the government at the centre – a decision that has continued to be trailed by several reactions.

As a result, Great Ife students have been resigned to sitting and watching back home, with the capability to do little or nothing to help themselves or the university community swim out of the troubled waters, while hoping and praying that the crisis be resolved quickly and totally, so they can go back to learning; their primary assignment on campus.

All hopefulness and prayers without actions might eventually yield little or no result. However, in light of this, the Association Of Campus Journalists(ACJ), Obafemi Awolowo University chapter brought aboard the idea of an online sensitization of the general populace through the social media.  The campaign was also targeted as an avenue to reach concerned stakeholders on the crisis as well as well-meaning Nigerians who might be willing to take up the course and fight for the reopening of the institution.  The campaign with the theme “#ReOpenOAU” was eventually kick-started some days ago on major social media platforms, especially twitter.  Using this medium, Great Ife students have continued to voice out their displeasure with such pieces being targeted at major stakeholders involved in the crisis.

The purpose of the campaign can be easily deciphered from its title - reopening of the school. On its third day, the campaign has recorded huge success with various organizations and individuals joining their voices with great Ife students. 

Surprisingly, some set of great Ife students have recently come out to kick against the campaign, citing various reasons for taking such stance.   Such reasons include the conviction of these sets of people that the campaign doesn’t properly represent the interest of great Ife students. Some have also argued that the campaign should have been centered on more specific requests like appointment of an acting VC or reconstitution of the governing council.

Some others even believe it should be an avenue to ask for the reinstatement of the students union activities of the institution.  These were accompanied by several criticisms of ACJ OAU, accusing the association especially, its president, of pursuing his personal interest against the interest of the generality of great Ife students– the same students that have taken over the social media with the #ReOpenOAU campaign in the last 48 hours.

Some of these ideologists have even gone as far as threatening to start a counter-trend against the campaign, whilst some have started to spread false messages on the social media impersonating some of the leadership of the ACJ.

With the trend of things, several questions are being asked; what do these ideologists really want? Do they not want the school to resume? Do they even understand what the theme of the campaign is all about? Are they aware that if OAU is eventually reopened, then an acting VC and/or a governing council must definitely be appointed/constituted? Do they know that student Unionism cannot operate well without the school being in full operation?

However, even with this, more students and bodies continue to join the #ReopenOAU campaign by the day.


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  1. Short of words...oau needs restructuring. A new external VC would make sense

  2. You can't open the university without a vc or an acting's quite complicated