Following apologies and promises by the students’ representatives that their colleagues will turn a new leaf, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has ordered the immediate reopening of the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, EACOED, Oyo.
The governor, who gave the directive shortly after meeting with the students’ leaders, in his office, on Wednesday, admonished them against unruly acts that might truncate the peace of the state or tantamount to disrespect for constituted authorities.
The state government had through a statement by the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, shut the college on June 2 in the wake of violent protests by some students of the institution.
Warning the students against a recurrence, the governor said dialogue and engagement were civilized ways of resolving grievances and issues bordering on welfare, no matter how knotty they might be.
Ajimobi said, “Now that you have come to apologize for that violent protest that led to destruction of properties, I hereby order the immediate reopening of your school. I want to plead with you to always respect your parents, lecturers and constituted authorities of your institution. That is what can make a country grow.
“In case you don’t know a constituted authority is a body that has been set up with the responsibility of delivering certain things on behalf of others. But we have lost our values to the extent that students roundly abuse teachers and authority; it is condemnable.
“We have forgiven you. But you must turn a new leaf. We are grooming you to become future leaders, but not through acts of hooliganism, destruction or any form of violent protest over issues that will still be resolved through dialogue and engagement.”
The governor used the occasion to restate his appeal to the stakeholders at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, (LAUTECH) to allow unfettered access of auditors engaged to peruse the records of the institution, which, he said, would pave the way for the reopening of the institution. .
The Provost of the EACOED, Dr. Rasaq Adefabi, who was in company with the students, appreciated what he called the fatherly role played by the governor in resolving the debacle instigated by the students’ unbecoming behaviour.
He disclosed that the school management had set up a counselling unit saddled with the responsibility of attending to the welfare and concerns of the student.
Adefabi pledged that the school authority would take proactive measures to nip future violent acts in the bud in order to forestall unwarranted destruction of property and disruption of the institution’s academic calendar.
The President of EACOED Students’ Union Government, Theophilus Oladeji, said that he was glad about the reopening of the school and appreciated what he called the kind gesture of the governor in overlooking the students’ exuberance and transgressions.