Authorities of the University of Ibadan (UI) have closed down the institution, following protest by students over non-issuance of identity cards.
The school’s closure came less than 24 hours to the commencement of the first semester examinations, for the 2016/2017 academic session.
The protesting students had barricaded a major highway, on Mokola-UI-Ojoo Road, in front of the institution, which caused gridlock in the vicinity.
Daily Sun gathered that thegridlock extended to Ojoo, Agbowo, Bodija, Sango and Mokola, for several hours. The protest was said to have been staged against the backdrop of resolutions of the students’ congress on Saturday, wherein it was agreed that the management be given two days ultimatum, to constitute a Students Welfare Board and set up a fact-finding committee, to look into use of hot-plates in halls of residence.
The students also resolved that there would not be any examination if the university failed to issue them identity cards, which were paid for, at the last and this session, at the rate of N650 and N1,300, respectively.
The students also vowed to disrupt the press conference, which Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, was to address at the institution’s International Conference Centre, on his sixth anniversary as governor.
The threat, it was learnt, forced the state government to shift the press conference to another place in Ibadan.
Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor, Prof Idowu Olayinka, in a broadcast, announced the closure and said examinations have been rescheduled to July 17, 2017.
Olayinka explained that the institution “was shut down to forestall breakdown of peace on the campus,” and added that “the closure order only affected all undergraduates,” whom he ordered to vacate the campus by 6:00pm, yesterday. Olayinka, however, said postgraduate students will continue with their lectures, as the closure order would not affect them. Also, in a special statement, the university management informed students that efforts are currently being made to ensure that identity cards are produced and distributed, starting from the middle of June. The management also issued a circular, informing deans of faculties that students’ registration forms and any other valid university instrument be considered as sufficient for admittance into examination halls in the forthcoming first semester examinations.
The university management stated that it was not unmindful of the hardship that the delay in the issuance of identity cards has caused the students, “but we appeal for their understanding.”The university management will also, very soon, convene a meeting of the Students’ Welfare Board, which is a statutory committee of the senate, to discuss other students’ welfare issues, so that a lasting solution can be proffered.”