Students under the auspices of the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS) have accused aides to Governor Olusegun Mimiko of “unnecessary undue interference” into the affairs and business of the student's union in the state.
The accused aides are two highly influential political office appointees of Gov. Mimiko. The duo is composed of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Youth and Students' Affairs, Olumuyiwa Asagunla, and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Aderotimi Adelola.
Further, Senate President of the Association, Adewumi Israel Fagbamigun, a student at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), was alleged to be involved in the ongoing corruption. He was impeached by a majority vote at a congress meeting in Akure, with members citing arrant “high-handedness, corruption, and blackmailing,” in the name of the Association at the state level.
"Immediately, the whole House acceded to the decision, and voted for his impeachment. We communicated it to the office of the SSA and SSG to the Governor on that development," Afolayan Simon Awodola, the embattled President of NAOSS said in Akure.
Awodola claims that the SSAs went so far as to continue to promote the impeached Senate President, Fagbamigun, as the authentic president despite the student's decision. They also bribed students with no ties to the association in order to rally their support against NAOSS. "It is very unfortunate that this same SSA is parading the impeached Senate president as the authentic President, one who is falsely representing the Association both at the state and national level at all functions concerning us," Awodola said.
He claimed that the Association had met and sent a series of letters to the office of the SSA, to stop interfering in the business of the Association. But Awodola said Asagunla wouldn't listen.
According to student leaders, continuous interference on part of the aids, including the seizure of a bus given to the Association by the government, is blocking the chances of the students in carrying out vital programs aimed at their development.
The NAOSS president explained that the students had several times condemned what they call, the ‘sinister act’ of the SSA. This is the view of many, especially after the SSA had called for a sitting of all senate students at Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, RUGIPO, which was, controversially, headed by the impeached senate president of the Association.
He said the Association has urged its real members, and the general public to disregard any resolution, issued from the office of the SSA, and the impeached senate president. "This is illegal, a continuous attempt to hijack the affairs of our Association. Government aids cannot continue to run and direct our affairs while a fake Senator cannot make law or enact the law for us. We shall continue to resist it," he said.
SaharaReporters learned that the Association had immediately elected Alademehin Busuyi has the Senate President, Akeremale Oluwaseun as the Deputy Senate President, and Ibrahim Oluwaseun as the Chief Whip after the impeachment.
Surprisingly, Adewumi Israel Fagbamigun claims he was not impeached and said he will remain the bonafide Senate President of the Association. Fagbamigun told SaharaReporters in a telephone interview that all allegations leveled against him are “baseless”, and an attempt to tarnish his reputation.
He also alleges that the executive arm of the Association has been “hijacked” by the opposition party in the state, and revealed that the senate arm had already suspended the NAOSS president, and some other members at a sitting of the senators.
"At one of our sittings 25 senators, out of 26, had voted for the suspension of the NAOSS president and his cohorts in the Association," he says. "Names of those suspended executive members are: i) Awodola Afolayan, President, ii) Abdul-Azeez Oladotun, Secretary, iii) Olaleye Olawale Financial Secretary, and iv) Alademehin Busuyi, Deputy Senate President."
Fagbamigun also added that the investigation and enquiry committee headed by Akinbebije Oloruntimehin and Iwaluwa Kolade, as Chairman and Secretary, respectively, have been set up to look into the issue.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Youth and Students Affairs, Olumuyiwa Asagunla, has denied the allegations, and said the opposition party had induced the students. Asagula told SaharaReporters that his office oversees the welfare of the students, but it has never interfered in their decision-making.
"We never have, in any way, interfered in their affairs. Wherever there is disagreement within them, we always advise them to settle their differences amicably in-house. The truth is that they are still students, and need a close watch, though; many of their leaders have been bought by the opposition party which I believe they can't deny."
Students of the Association now boycott all government events.