OGUN, Nigeria – Students of Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu, have cried out to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State to save them from Oro worshippers, who they accused of “oppresing” them in Omu community.
The students alleged that Oro worshippers in Omu, Odogbolu Local Government area of Ogun State, have been making the academic environment unconducive by imposing on them, what they termed, many unfavourable policies.
Recounting their ordeals to Governor Abiodun, the students revealed that the Oro cult members were affecting their academic performances by barring them from putting on light during their festivals.
A 200-level student of English Language, Olaniyi Timileyin, said the Oro worshippers usually have their festivals during “our examination period.
“They will tell us not to put on any light from 9 pm till daybreak. How can any student perform in an environment like this? We are here to read, and not to sleep during examination periods. They are oppressing us.”
Timileyin added that the Oro worshippers, with the support of the landlord association, also banned female students from putting on trousers, alleging that doing so is regarded as a taboo during Oro festivals.
OgeneAfrican learnt that religious activities within the campus are forbidden during Oro festivals in Omu.
Among other things, the students begged the Governor to tar the institution’s access road and enhance its infrastructural development.
In his response, Gov Abiodun, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Students Matters, Azeez Adeyemi, expressed surprise that Oro worshippers in Omu could ask students not to put on their light during examination periods.
He said: “I have heard of Oro festival, but I have never heard where Oro will tell you not to put on your light.”
“How will you perform well in your exams if you’re mandated not to put on the light to read during examination periods?” Adeyemi querried.
According to him, the government of Ogun State will write a letter to the traditional ruler of Omu over the issue.
“We are going to write a letter to the Kabiyesi. The school authority will meet with the community so as to avoid fixing Oro festivals on days when you are having your exams. They will have your academic calendar to do that,” Adeyemi assured.
The Governor’s aide disclosed that Ogun State Government, through the involvement of some developers, will commence the building of hostels within TASCE campus, adding that a 3000-capacity auditorium will also be constructed in no distant time.
He hinted that the Dapo Abiodun government is making efforts towards setting up what he called Students Police Community Relations Committee.
This, he said, will aid to foster common ties and mutual understanding among the police, students and their host communities.
In his words, the DPO of Omu police division, Abiola Adeboje, echoed the determination of the police to protect the students of TASCE, urging them to eschew every form of violence.
The Provost of the college, Dr Lukmon Kiadese, appreciated Adeyemi for his efforts in seeing to the welfare of students in Ogun.
Kiadese, described the Gov Abiodun’s Assistant, who is the National PRO of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), as a round peg in a round hole.