There was a mild drama yesterday at the convocation ceremony of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye in Ogun State.
It was the 28th and 29th combined Convocations ceremony of OOU, attended by Gov Dapo Abiodun of the state, alongside other three distinguished Nigerians – the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Shamshuna Ahmed; the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, and Maj. Gen. Adebanjo Awosanya (Retired).
The trio were also conferred with Doctor of Science Degree and Doctors of Letters- all honoris causa respectively, by the university.
Drama started when representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOS) held a protest at the venue of the convocation.
The students’ leaders besieged the convocation ground in their hundreds, appealing to Gov Abiodun to reconsider and appoint one Prof. Sidi Osho as the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology.
Sidi Osho was one of the 19 Commissioner- nominees whose names were submitted to the state House of Assembly and was subsequently screened and recommended for appointment by the House.
However, Osho was absent at the Swearing-in ceremony of other nominees.
We learnt that there is controversy in respect of her nomination because a letter emanating from the same OOU was of the effect that she was dismissed by the state-owned university for alleged “ethical issues and gross misconduct” committed by her while she was a lecturer of the university.
But the students, led by Com. Bamgbose Tomiwa Peters (NANS Chairman in the state) and Com. Ogunrombi Gbemileke (NANS National President) in their solidarity rally for Osho, said she was a “victim of dirty politics” and urged the Governor not to yield to whoever that is opposed to her appointment.
However, the protest turned violent, with the students chasing away the OOU Dean of Students Affairs, identified as Dr. Oluwayomi Oladunjoye, over alleged attempt by him to shut them up.
Oladunjoye drew the anger of the students, who had masssed-up in front of the 3000-seater Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre being inaugurated by Governor Dapo Abiodun and Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, when he walked to them, demanding that they take down forthwith, banners bearing the image of Osho which the students raised sky high.
The Dean of Students Affairs also ordered them to fold the banner and take it away, apparently to ensure that they were not sighted by guests who came for the project inauguration and convocation, but the students stoutly challenged him, asking to know what right he had to attempt to disrupt their solidarity rally for Osho.
Oladunjoye was almost beaten, but for the intervention of security agents.