Image caption: Students protesting the relocation in June
LAUTECH: ‘No accommodation, transport fare astronomical,’ students send tales of woes from Iseyin
“We beg you in the Name of God return us back to Ogbomoso, we are suffering here in Iseyin. Majority of our mates are not here. Prof Adewale is really threatening us, we were admitted to Study in Ogbomoso not Iseyin. Some of us are sleeping in unsafe classroom, this is abuse of fundamental human right,” wrote a 200 level student of the faculty of agricultural sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo state, in a SMS message, obtained by ogbomosoinsightonline.com Thursday evening.
Recall the 200l students of the faculty of agricultural sciences LAUTECH have been ordered to relocate to a newly established campus at Iseyin in Oke-Ogun area, styled “College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Energy Resources.”
The affected students however have appealed that they be allowed to complete their studies in Ogbomoso in view of the many inconveniences and discomforts the movement posed. They cited financial hardship, the risks involved, lack of accommodation and so on. They have for six months appealed to the governor of the state, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to rescind the order but all to no avail.
Now, academic activities have been ordered to commence at the satellite campus nonetheless less than 30 percent of the 1533 students of the class it is gathered has assumed class there, majority have stayed back in Ogbomoso.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com reported representatives of the students traveled to Ibadan three weeks ago to converse with the governor and again appeal to him but they could only meet with his aides who were non-committal though promising the governor would respond two weeks after. This raised the hope of the students believing the governor is a listening man who will reappraise the issue from a broader perspective.
However, it is mum from the helmsman, a development that has frustrated the students. Nevertheless, as stated earlier, the larger percentage of the students have refused to heed the directive and have stayed put in Ogbomoso.
Asked why many of them have refused to go to Iseyin, they cited financial constraints among other reasons.
One of the students said, “It is pure oppression from the elders, people we look up to as fathers. Why are they driving us to Iseyin when we were not admitted to study in Iseyin, it was not even an option in the form. But now despite our pleas they have turned deaf ears. Many of us paid for new rents at the beginning of the session here in Ogbomoso and now we have to pay for new rent in Iseyin. Where is the money for God’s sake?” The distraught student who did not however give his name lamented.
He added, “Some of us have relocated to Iseyin but I must say what we have is tales of woes from the location. They resorted to coercive methods to force us there. There is no accommodation in that community. Only few of those that had gone to Iseyin could secure accommodation. The situation is very critical, many are sleeping in corridors, exposed to mosquitoes’ bites, many are falling sick. Yet there is no sickbay.
“The largest lecture room cannot sit more than 500 students and we are over 1, 500 students if we are all here. And because the campus is very far from the town centre, it is two drops which gulps a lot of money that is scarce. It is unfair.”
Another student after also bemoaning the situation said, “It is not well thought out. Won fi owo agbara gba wa loju (they have taken advantage of our powerlessness),” disclosing she overheard the provost, Professor Jacob Olugbenga Adewale, sarcastically telling a lecturer who complained of accommodation, speaking, “Students don’t have accommodation but you are here complaining. That must have slipped out of the professor’s tongue.”
Meanwhile, the management it is learnt is frantically trying to give the state government the impression that things are taking shape. “They threaten us every time. The lecturers are compelled to conduct tests to force others to come to Iseyin. It is insensitivity. It is wickedness. I can’t believe all these things are happening with the connivance of the governor,” another student who also pleaded anonymity for obvious reasons submitted.
Messages like the one in the opening paragraph are being circulated by the students with the aim of telling the world their plight and hoping divine intervention will take place “since human intervention seems remote.”
In the meantime, the students and parents have sued the state governor over the relocation, however the case is yet to come up for hearing in the court.