Students of the University of Ibadan (UI) may wait at home for one month before returning to school as the University Senate ratified the steps taken by the management.
Last week, the students protested what they described as “the unlawful rustication of a 500 Level Petroleum Engineering student, Tunji Epeti Michael”, who they alleged was punished for participating in a protest over lack of water and electricity on campus.
The university debunked the claim of rusticating only Tunji Epeti Michael, saying nine students were rusticated, reprimanded or discharged from Independence Hall for either leading a protest or illegal occupation.
An emergency Senate meeting which was presided over by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Idowu Olayinka, ratified the decision of the management to close the school.
The Senate condemned what it called the “invasion of the university” by students of other institutions in hooded attire.
It was gathered that Michael was supposed to be doing his six months internship when he allegedly came back to lead a protest in the Independence Hall, owing to his political ambition to become the Administrator General.
The Vice-Chancellor said the university requires N80million monthly to maintain overhead cost and the halls of residence. It has received N42.5million for January-April.
Olayinka said the immediate opening of the school is impossible since the Governing Council which will consider the letter of appeal against Epeti’s rustication will seat on Monday 16, May 2016 during the the decision would be communicated to the senate.
“I have gone around the halls of residence to see what the condition is like and I know it is not up to the standard our students should be living in but what do we do when the money/overhead cost from Federal Government fall short of what we need?
“We presently accommodate about 8,000 students in our halls of residence. There is absolutely nothing we can do without funding.
“At this stage, it is not feasible to grant an unconditional and immediate reinstatement of Tunji Epeti Michael. His appeal would be tabled before the governing council for consideration at the next meeting that would hold during the week beginning May 16.
“A bi-partisan ad-hoc committee will be set-up, comprising members of staff and representatives of students to work out modalities in short, medium and long terms for improvement in the provision of municipal services on campus.
“The re-opening of the university would be contingent on the satisfactory resolution of the first two points. Management would deal speedily with the purported undue placement of fines and harassment of students by porters in the Halls,” he said.