The management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife has ordered the indefinite shutdown of the University, following a protest by its students on Friday over the death of a final year student of Foreign Languages department, Aisha Adesina.

This was announced in a statement released by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Abiodun Olarewaju.

The release noted that the Management “understands the grief after the loss of the student, but will not tolerate the continuous and uncontrolled protest by the students”, which has reportedly led to blocking of highways.

“The Management understands the grief resulting from this untimely death within the community and sympathises with the parents, friends, colleagues and the entire students of the University on this sad loss, and prays for the repose of her soul.

“However, Management condemns in strong terms the continuous and uncontrolled protests by the students culminating in unbridled brigandage, blocking the Ife/Ibadan and Ife/Ede highways and other adjoining roads that could be used as alternative routes, and engaging in other acts that are detrimental to their health and the safety of the generality of the people,” the statement read.

The statement further directed students to vacate their halls of residence in order to return normalcy to the campus.

“Therefore, having exhausted all necessary avenues to call the students to order and allow normalcy to return to the Campus and its environs, the authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, have accordingly closed down the School until further notice. This is to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

“In view of this, all students are hereby directed to vacate their halls of residence and the Campus latest by 12:00 noon on Saturday, 2nd October, 2021.”

It added that the University management has put in place the machinery to unravel the “circumstances surrounding the cause(s) of the crisis, while the swearing-in of the newly elected Students’ Union officials has been put on hold, pending a review of the situation”.

Background

Students of the university on Friday staged a peaceful protest over the death of Miss Adesina.

The late Adesina was said to have died at Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Ile-Ife, where she was referred to by the university’s health centre.

Following the death on Friday, the students blocked the university’s main gate in protest.

Sources among the protesting students accused the university’s health centre of poor management of Miss Adesina’s case, and for allegedly delaying in its response when the deceased presented herself to the centre.

But in its reaction to the allegation, the university in a statement issued earlier on Friday and signed by Mr Olarewaju, denied the accusations and appealed to the students to remain calm.

Meanwhile, reports by various media platforms including Humangle earlier on Friday indicated that the late Miss Adesina was an asthmatic patient who had gone to the health centre to complain of a sore throat.

She was reportedly given an anti-malaria medication which the late Miss Adesina’s friends confirmed “did not work” for the deceased noting the pains had persisted for three days before she was rushed back to the health centre on Thursday.

Another source who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation told Humangle that Miss Adeshina could not be attended to because doctors were on strike.

“We were told by officials at the clinic that doctors are on strike and they cannot even refer her to OAU teaching hospital. The best they could do was to refer her to Seventh Day hospital,” the source said.

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