AAUA Protest: How did we get there?

Following the crisis that erupted on the 22nd of November, 2021, the management of Adekunle Ajasin University announced the indefinite closure of the school and the postponement of exams.

The protest was instigated by the ‘no school fee no exam’ policy, which was announced before the time slated for the commencement of the exam.

In the early hours of the protest, a circular which was duly signed by the Registrar, Olugbenga Arajulu was released to communicate the .

The circular stated that all students will be allowed to write the first-semester exam. A few hours after the release of the circular, the protest turned violent and unknown persons vandalized properties and cars at the school’s senate building which led to its aftermath.

Tongues have been wagging over the major reason for the continuation of the protest even after a circular was released and suggestions for probable solutions are given as students react to this burning issue.

Student reacts

Ojo Iseoluwa Oluwaseun, a law student stated that the protest was not necessary and it was baseless. He added that his statement is not conclusive as there are other reasonable reasons for the protest.

“The alleged act of vandalism was not the expected outcome of the protest.

“After the school had released a circular, the protest became void. The students were not ready for exams,” he said.

He added that to avoid a likely future occurrence, agitations should be done with the mindset of peace.

A student of the Department of Guidance and Counselling, David Esther Oluwapelumi, mentioned that the protest wasn’t necessary since the school already sent out a circular that all students can write exams.

Also, most of the students were not ready for the examination because they lacked preparation mentally and financially. The protest was an avenue to prepare themselves.

“I would advise that students should exercise more patience irrespective of the decision of the management. Violent protest isn’t the solution. Those who have the school fee with them should pay it. Students should also be involved in productive, creative, and profitable businesses to support their parents.

He urged students to trust the Student Union whenever cases like this ensue.

“The best that could have been done is the circular which was supposed to bring about sanity. And the senate building issue? That’s not something related to exams. The motive is never instigated by issues that surround the exam because what has going to destroy the senate building got to do with the exam?”

Olatunde Johnson* commented on the circular that was released by the school management.

 “The problem had been solved by the release of the circular and everyone was expected to leave the street. Why was the first circular debunked and not the other circular stating that the school had been closed and exams had been postponed indefinitely.”

Aishat Alabi, a student of Sociology stated that the protest had begun before the circular was released and the delay in its release was the reason for the protest.

“I can’t say it was necessary neither will I say it wasn’t. In case of a next time, patience should be exercised. If they had exercised patience that day, we might not have been in this situation now.”

Olaifa Bukola, a student of Mass Communication commented that the protest was not necessary.

“They should have just ended the protest and sat for the exam. My advice is that students shouldn’t go out of bound any longer and destroying properties shouldn’t be included. They should just have a peaceful protest and if any circular is passed they should not debunk it.”

Bukola added that a fake circular can be detected if it is carefully perused.

“There is an order that an original circular follows.”

A student who pleaded anonymity described the protest as unnecessary if it is considered from every possible angle and that the circular should not have been regarded as ‘fake’ if there wasn’t more to it.

“The protest was irrelevant. Nothing could even be done to calm the students because a circular was released but its originality was questioned. The students did not want to write the exam which might be due to unpreparedness. If it was for the no school fee, no exam policy, they would have sheathed their swords immediately after the circular was released.”

He added that students should be calm and trust the directives of the student union. They should consult and negotiate as that is the protocol.

Akinsulure Simbo Timilehin, the Public Relations Officer of the Student Union said that the protest was not needed and a sign that the students were not as patient as they ought to be and was not based on the policy of no school fee, no exam.

“The protest should not have happened. At a point, the DSA asked some students at the scene what they wanted and they answered that they needed more time to prepare for the exam. Students were also allowed to enter the CBT centre to write their exams.”

He remarked that a protest should not be violent even if students want to bear their minds to the management. They should exercise patience and trust the power of the Student Union and its executives.

“Protest has never brought anything good along with it. We don’t know what the result of the needless protest will be now. Instead of protesting, they should have reasoned with the management.”

Oyelowo Deji, a student of Computer Science and the librarian of the department said information by the union should be shared on time.

“The student union should be quick in updating the student populace about their consultations with the school management.

Esther Abiodun Akinyemi, a student of Biochemistry mentioned that the semester was choking and had instigated the protest because the students needed an extension in preparing for the exam.

“What could have been done was the student stating exactly what they wanted, through the Student Union (they have their part to play in this, as the mouthpiece of the students) and not hiding under the guise of the protest.

“And on the school’s part, they should have stated the latter circular about writing exams without school fees days before the first day of the exam. That way, everyone would sit up and know the school wasn’t going to extend the semester.

“More so, the management should endeavour to compromise. Hadn’t been the school admin had known that the students wanted the semester to be extended, they might have called for a meeting and stated why it could not be done. That might have calmed the student populace”.

She admonished students to be clear in stating their grievances to the management through the student union. Also, they should obey and comply with the school rules and regulations.

The news flying around now is that the school management has ordered the students to pay a reparation fee of N20,000 and fulfill other financial responsibilities or apply for a leave of absence. It is expedient that we learn from our mistakes.

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Author

  • Esther Oguntuase known as Ecstasy is a student journalist, creative writer, copy writer and graphics designer. She believes in a world of optimism. She looks forward to contributing to the existence of the youths in Nigeria. Her favorite quote is, "don't underestimate a person with what they can't do because what they can do might blow you away"

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