By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Special Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Student Affairs, Victor Olojede, has criticised the leadership of the University of Ibadan(UI) Students’ Union over an open letter written to the governor.
The students’ union leaders, on Friday, wrote a letter to Makinde, calling his attention to the security breaches in the Agbowo community, where a larger percentage of UI students reside.
In the letter signed by its President, Adewole Yinka, and General Secretary, Bamidele Paul, the students asked the governor to apologise to all victims of various attacks and convey emergency meeting with security agencies in the state.
The letter was written following the spate of robbery attacks in off-campus communities largely inhabited by students of the university.
But a statement issued on Saturday by Olojede stated that the attempt by the students’ body to portray the state government as “doing nothing” on the security situation was “uncalled for and unjustifiable.”
The statement read in part: “The Office of the Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on Students Affairs will like to appreciate the openness of the Students’ Union of the University of Ibadan in making their concerns over the security situation in communities inhabited by some of the University’s students outside the campus.
“The Office, however, condemns the tone with which the message was passed across and the circumstances created by the Open Letter titled “ADDRESS INSECURITY NOW, OUR STUDENTS ARE DYING” and addressed to His Excellency, as they did not present the true picture of things regarding efforts already taken by the State Government.
“The Oyo State Government is not unaware of the security situation around the University of Ibadan, especially in communities including Agbowo, Orogun, Barika, Waters, Bodija, Ajibode and other surrounding areas. In fact, many efforts have been made towards tackling these issues, which the UI Students Union is aware of. The Oyo State Government deployed many security operatives to the concerned areas on different occasions.
“Equally, as a way of finding a lasting solution to the security issue, on Tuesday, 11th of January 2022, the Office of the S.A. Students Affairs had a security emergency meeting with the leadership of the Students’ Union alongside that of NANS OYO JCC. Different resolutions were made and it was resolved that certain individuals, including all security stakeholders be invited to a meeting as soon as possible. As such, actions were put in motion to make sure that these meetings take place as soon as possible.
“The Office is quite disappointed that these various signs of progress and actions of the government to provide long-lasting security assurance in these communities were not mentioned in the open letter.
“It is quite unfortunate that only three days after the Government engaged the Students’ Union body, the same body published an open letter in which it cast aspersions on efforts of the Governor and painted the government in bad light, as if nothing is being done regarding the security challenge.
“However, in response to the issues raised by the students, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Security, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Students Affairs, the Chief Security Officer of the University of Ibadan and the Students Union Executives of the University had an emergency meeting on Friday, 14 January 2022. At that meeting, different resolutions were reached and actions have commenced immediately.
“It is important to note that the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration is deeply committed to ensuring the security of lives and property of all residents of Oyo State and it will never take any issue regarding security with levity. Therefore, no stone is being left unturned towards ensuring that security is assured in the affected areas.
“Also, the Governor and the Office of the S.A Students’ Affairs are always open to productive and progressive conversation with students, but this should be done through refined and unaggressive approaches.”