By Okuku Feranmi
The former Students’ Union President of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA), Comrade Ijanusi Olawale has said that the resolution of the Council of Past Presidents does not cancel the planned protest for the reduction of school fees.
Comrade Ijanusi, popularly known as ‘Optimum’ stated in an interview with EDUTORIAL that the meeting which was held on Thursday, May 9, was based on the opinion of the council.
In his words, “The resolution is just our own opinion as an association; the final decision still lies solely on the student union body. But if they still want to go on with the proposed protest, they should go ahead. We cannot decide for the union, we’re just an advisory body to the union. The resolution did not say they should not protest, neither did it say they should not resume, nor did it say they should pay. We are talking to the management of AAUA and the government, not the students; the resolution is just our suggestion to these two”.
He also explained that it is a tradition for the incumbent Students’ Union President to be a part of the association in order to understand the dos and don’ts of the body.
Ijanusi further stated that every incumbent President serves as the welfare and mobilization officer of the council.
The circular which was released on Thursday evening consisted of six resolutions:
- students should be allowed to continue exams without emphasising ‘no payment, no examination policy’,
- Based on the reaction from students, the fees are unbearable for most students of AAUA, the school fees should be reviewed downward as the students go higher in pursuit of their studies,
- The disbursement of loans to indigent students of AAUA should be fast-tracked,
- To re-orientate and correct the larger society and the wrong social media coverage on the happenings on AAUA campus,
- The management of the institution should facilitate a meeting between the Council of Past Presidents, top management staff of the University and the Chairman Council, AAUA to consolidate restoration of peace on the campus.
The circular was signed by seven members of the council which included Ijanusi Olawale (Optimum), Eyinla Temitope ( Boubow ) and the incumbent president, Adesomoju Samuel (Sampraise).
As at the time of filing this report, the incumbent president, Adesomoju Samuel could not be reached for comments. He, however, sent a video clip to the social media to assure Nigerian students that the Council of Past Presidents does not have the highest authority over the Student Union.
He stated that he signed the document not because he was in support of it, but the situation of things prompted him to do it.
He emphasised in the video clip that the Student Union agitation shall continue.
However, he said the agitation would not come up if the government harkens to the voice of the students and decides to negotiate.
Speaking with the General Secretary of the Students’ Union Body, Comrade Jesutola Adebayo, he said Sampraise called an executive council meeting to explain the reason he signed the document.
According to the General Secretary, “He made us understand that he signed it under duress. He had no other option than to sign it. That was why he came out of the meeting to debunk it through the video sent to the social media”.
According to Comrade Ijanusi, the incumbent President was not forced to sign the document, he explained further saying, “Nobody coerced anybody to do anything, and the content of the memorandum does not require that we threaten anybody to sign. Our interest is to restore peace and normalcy into the campus. We are actually agitating for the interest of the students as well’.
Present at the meeting were Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun ( the Vice-Chancellor of AAUA); the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration and Academic; the Vice President of the Council of Past Presidents Association, Com. Ikuegbegbe Kokumo, some other past presidents and top management officials of AAUA.