The Almuni body of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has decried years of proscription of Student Union activities in its Alma mater by the management.
It described Student Unionism as an incubator for progressive politicians and virile administrators around the world and assured that it would engage the school authorities with a view to resuscitating the union.
Speaking during the biennial OAU global Alumni convention, a three-day programme that started with visitation to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitayo Ogunmodede, the alumni President, Wale Olaleye, added that Student unionism had reshaped the political careers of many politicians in Nigeria, including Governors Rotimi Akeredolu, Kayode Fayemi and Senators Babafemi Ojudu, Opeyemi Bamidele, Femi Falana among others.
“Some strong politicians and the human rights lawyer were said to be products or members of students’ union executives during their times as students on various campuses,” he said.
Olaleye, who emerged as global president of the association at the weekend revealed that the Alumni body of the University had pledged to support the indigent students and the less privileged within the university community.
This, according to him, is in line with the association’s resolve to support its Alma mater against inadequate funding of university education and complement the government’s subventions.
“We will introduce an Alumni subscription fee to support the indigent students and the less privileged within the university community,” Olaleye emphasised.
He further stated that the association would not relent in its quest for the university to attain a status of world-class citadel of learning.
While speaking, the Vice-chancellor, Professor Ogunbodede, stressed that tertiary institutions must step out of their confines and position themselves to be part of the solutions to societal challenges through innovation and research.
He encouraged academics and the alumni body to leverage local talents and scale up their activities to build a better society through a knowledge-based approach.