Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on Friday, staged a peaceful protest over the death of a final year student of Foreign Languages department, Aisha 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.
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 on Friday and signed by its public relations officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, denied the accusations and appealed to the students to remain calm.
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.
The public relations officers-elect of OAU students’ union, Ogunperi Taofeek, said in a statement issued on Friday that “Adesina’s death is not the first to happen due to negligence of duties by the workers at the Health Centre.”
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“We call on the University Management to investigate this death and punish all health workers who failed in performing their duties when Aishat needed attendance which they failed to give but only transferred her in her last moments to Seventh Day Hospital where she eventually died.
“Without a proper and quick investigation (one which must actively involve and be communicated to students) and punishment meted, the University Management will be putting the lives of students in danger. We cannot let our lives become toys. We will have to protest this, as we cannot afford to keep losing our lives like fowls,” the statement reads in part.
Following the death on Friday, the students blocked the university’s main gate in protest.
But in its response on Friday, the university management appealed to the students to remain calm, even as it commiserated with the family of the late student.
“The management will like to appeal to all students of the students of the University to remain calm and kindly refrain from any act that can jeopardise the peace on campus and truncate the ongoing Rain Semester examinations,” the university said in a statement.
The statement added that the deceased “was promptly treated with some drugs prescribed and asked to report back as an outpatient.”
The statement further stated that Miss Adesina reported back to the health centre on Thursday morning, September 30, “but was referred to Seventh Day Adventist Hospital for further management where she regrettably died”.
“The management sympathises with the parents, friends, colleagues and the entire students of the University on this sad loss, and pray for the repose of her soul,” it added.