The authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife has shut down the campus indefinitely following protests by workers over the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for the university by its Governing Council, The Gazelle reports.
The newly admitted students of the university presently going through orientation on campus have been ordered to vacate the school premises with immediate effect while resumption of the returning students has been postponed indefinitely.
The Registrar of the university, Dotun Awoyemo confirmed this to our correspondent on the telephone on Wednesday.
According to him, the management has decided to shut down the university for the safety of students and staff.
He said, “We have shut down the university indefinitely pending the time that we will resolve issues with our workers – Non-academic Staff of University (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU).
“We have asked our newly admitted students to go home and postponed the resumption of old students indefinitely.”
It was gathered that old students of the OAU were expected to resume next week after a two-month break.
Workers of the university under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU) of OAU had begun their protests and strike action since June 6, after taking the university authorities to court over the appointment of the Deputy. VC of the school, Prof. Ayobami Salami as the new VC.
The protesting workers had on Tuesday appeared in red and black dresses accusing the university Governing Council of imposing the new vice-chancellor while they vowed to prevent Salami from resuming office on Friday.
The university management had threatened not to pay the salaries of the protesting workers should they continue with the protests and strike but the workers shunned the order as they resumed protests on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the tension on the campus heightened as the workers barricaded all roads leading to the Senate Building of the school preventing vehicular movement.
The workers said until the appointment of the new VC was reversed, they would continue to protest.
They vowed to prevent the new VC, who is expected to resume office on Friday.
OAU NASU chairman, Comrade Wole Odewunmi had accused the University Governing Council of illegality in the appointment of the new VC.
Also speaking, SSANU Chairman, Comrade Ademola Oketunde said the unions were set for showdown with the out-going VC, prof. Bamitale Omole as he completes his tenure on Thursday.
But authorities of OAU had argued that the appointment of the new VC followed due process saying the protests by the workers were uncalled for.