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OAU: Students Protest Colleague’s Death Blamed On Poor Handling, Doctors’ Strike

Academic and other activities were grounded at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Southwest Nigeria after students protested the death of a female student due to alleged negligence and doctors’ strike.

Aisha Adesina, a final year Foreign Language student at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Osun State, Southwest Nigeria, has died as a result of what her colleagues described as lackadaisical attitude by officials of the institution.

HumAngle gathered that Aisha, an asthmatic patient went to the university’s hospital to complain about having a sore throat but was allegedly given anti-malaria drugs. 

“The anti-malaria drugs and antibiotics given to her didn’t work and she kept having the sore throat pains. The pains lasted for three days before she was rushed back to the hospital on Thursday, Sep. 30,” Olufemi Ajayi, Chairman of the Students’ Union Electoral Commission, told HumAngle. 

Our correspondent gathered that on getting to the university’s health centre, the deceased was asked to present her school identity card and use her face mask before she could be attended to. 

“At this point, her temperature and blood pressure had risen and was eventually rushed to Seventh Day Adventist, a private hospital outside the university campus,” a campus source told HumAngle.

Another source who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation said late Aisha could not be attended to because doctors are on strike. 

“We were told by officials at the clinic that doctors are on strike and they cannot even refer her to OAU teaching hospital. The best they could do was to refer her to Seventh day.” 

She was, however, pronounced dead at the hospital.  

Picture of the deceased being circulated. Photo: Social media.

Following the ugly incident, students on Friday, Oct. 1 shut the school gate to protest the death of their colleague. They are demanding the removal of the Director of the Health Centre and employment of more staff.

The protest, HumAngle learnt, has crippled activities in Ile-Ife and its environs. The Ile-Ife to Ibadan highway was blocked alongside other routes that may lead commuters out or into the ancient city.  

Students of OAU protesting. Photo: ACJOAU.

Abiodun Olanrewaju, the university’s spokesperson, did not confirm or deny that Aisha died of official neglect. He simply pleaded with students to end their protest. 

“No University official would allow any student to die because we are all parents,” Olanrewaju said.  “We are pleading with the students to leave the main road so we can dialogue and move forward.” 

In early August, Nigeria’s resident doctors went on strike over irregularities in the payment of salaries to the house officers. 

They are seeking an upward review of the hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, especially in state-owned-tertiary institutions.

The doctors are also calling for the abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by their members in all training institutions across the country.

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