Infact, in all the places visited, lectures were on. Normalcy has returned to the University. We give thanks to God and members of staff, who had ensured the return of students to campus. These were the words of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Catherine Eromosele, while confirming the full resumption of academic activities in FUNAAB.
Professor Eromosele also confirmed that students were fully back on campus and academic activities were ongoing at the various lecture halls visited, which included the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), College of Management Sciences (COLMAS) lecture halls, as well as the 2,000-capacity Mahmood Yakubu Lecture Theatre.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) said that due to the challenges being experienced on the REMITA platform for the payment of the reparation fee, the University Management had extended the period of payment by two weeks. The report I had was that, as at Tuesday, October 4, 2016, about 16,000 students had generated invoices to pay. But for the major challenge they had with the REMITA platform, they were unable to get access code. At least, over 3,000 students had paid. Management in its wisdom, because of the challenges being faced, had extended the payment for another two weeks and this has also been made known to the Committee of Deans and Directors (CODAD) of the University.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju, expressed happiness at the return of students to campus, saying no lecturer was happy whenever the students were not around, particularly, as a result of the kind of unrest that led to the mid-semester break. Professor Olayanju added that the Senate of the University had approved the constitution of a committee, to formulate policy for the off-campus students, towards promoting their welfare and security.Issues of the August 18 has gone and gone, forever. That is our believe. For us to forestall future occurrence, we have put adequate security measures in place. We were able to get in touch with the Chairmen of the Community Development Associations (CDAs), some of the Baales (Traditional rulers) and security agencies, to ensure the security of lives and properties of the students. Gods willing, the students are safe, he said. Collaborating this, the Assistant Chief Environmental Officer (ACEO) of the University, Mr. Peter Bolarinwa, added that the physical presence of personnel of different security agencies on campus was actually a bid to guaranty the provision of adequate security for members of the University community, in view of the commencement of full academic activities.
The Acting Head, Department of Veterinary Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET), Dr. Ayokunle Olude, appreciated the role played by University Management towards ensuring students resumption, saying it is a good thing that students are back to normal academic activities because they have been at home for some time and I know parents are concerned.It is a good thing. We are happy to see them back in school. He urged the students to cooperate with the authorities and be peaceful in their conduct and to always channel any grievance through the appropriate avenue, for necessary consideration.
Dr. Mojisola Adegunwa, Acting Head, Department of Hospitality and Tourism, Colege of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), stated that the resumption of students back to campus, after the mid-semester break was fast, because the students were eager to resume. In fact, I was in the class this morning; a 500-level class was well attended. They were eager to do their courses and their examinations. She also stressed the need to put more security arrangements in place for all the students, as part of efforts to promote peace and tranquility in the system. In the same vein, the President of FUNAAB Students Union, Comrade Dennis Nwenonye, said the main objective of the body was to ensure that the academic calendar was not disrupted, hence, the need to support the University Senates decision for the students to resume.
While reiterating the resolve to ensure that peace reigned on and off-campus, the Students Union President promised to collaborate with the University Management, to find solutions to the challenges that students may be facing, saying that from our end, we would ensure that academic activities continue. We are ensuring that peace reigns on campus and that has been our major priority, assuring that students of the University would continue to be calm, cool-headed and peaceful.
Some of the students also shared their resumption experience. For Adesina Oluwatobi, a 500-level student in the Department of Animal Physiology, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), he was pleased to be back in school, saying the University Senates decision was a welcome development. He stated further that the students resumed with a very high spirit and, therefore, cannot wait to start their lectures in earnest.
Herika Omukoro, a 200-level student in the Department of Horticulture, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), disclosed that she was extremely happy because it had been a long time they (students), stayed home for the mid-semester break. She hoped that things would go on well between the students union and Management. Oluwadamilare Fajinmi, a 300-level student in the Department of Animal Production and Health, COLANIM, urged the students union to re-orientate its members on the need to be civil in their approach to issues, saying that with patience, a lot could be achieved.