by Ismail Oloyede
Prof Tale Omole, OAU VC
This was how it started in the 1990s when Prof. Olawale Omole was inaugurated as the Vice- Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. There was so much apprehension and trepidaton amongst the Students and the workers. While the students were agitating for their fundamental Human Rights(especially Rights to Freedom of: Expression Association, Peaceful Assembly and Protest) and saying a big “NO’’ to any form of outrageous and exorbitant fees in terms of tuition and accommodation, the workers were clamouring for better conditions of service.
Instead of listening to the genuine agitations of the students and the workers, the then Vice-Chancellor Prof. Omole embarked upon many devastating policies, thinking he could call the “bluff” of the students and the workers. However, rising to the challenges of the time, the leadership of the then Students’ Union gave a resounding and tenacious representation to the Great Ife Students by embarking on a series of protests and rallies as well as using court injunctions to restrain the management from further tormenting the generality of Great Students with obnoxious policies.
Realizing that he could not withstand the intellectual fire-brand of the then Students’ Union, Prof. Omole embarked on a process of finally annihilating the ever- conscious and ever -progressive Students Union by bringing in cultists to help him curtail the tenacity and audacity of the Students’ Union. This was a task which the cultists attempted to carry out with blood by not only eliminating our own George Iwilade (aka AFRICA) the then Secretary General of the Students’ Union,but by also killing of 4 other Great Ife Students.
WHAT ARE WE DRIVING AT?
The continued proscription of Great Ife Students’ Union is gradually creating a vacuum, as we now live under the arbitrary dictates of management meant to make us live in constant fear of brutal death.
It is no longer news that the wings of the neo-fascist elements i.e. “Cultists” is growing at a very alarming rate and if the Students Union of Great Ife is not reinstated forthwith, then a palpable danger of armed attacks on activists might begin to stare us in the face.
We demand the immediate reinstatement of our Students Union for in our Unionism and Collectivism lies our Strength and Security.
We also demand the immediate reinstatement of Comrade Owolabi Olawale(aka Ogunruku).who remains suspended despite the resolution of the governing council which ordered that all the victimized students should be reinstated.
Finally, we demand that the new Vice-Chancellor Pof. Bamitale Omole should ‘HALT’’ all plans at increment of school fees and acceptance fees, as these will only bring hardship on Great Ife Students.
Great Ife in its traditions of struggle will vehemently RESIST any obnoxious, anti-student policy such as increment in school fees.