Obafemi Awolowo University is one of the few full-fledged tertiary institutions established by the Nigerian Federal Government in 1961 but commenced classes in 1962. Everywhere you meet OAU students, you can clearly see the pride they have about their university.
The decision to have additional universities came in the wake of Nigeria’s independence as a result of the 1959 Ashby Commission recommendation, which noticed that the number of secondary school graduates was on the rise and the premier university, the University of Ibadan could not help all the regions in the country.
It was named the University of Ife at inception. This is a name that came with the location of the institution. It was changed to Obafemi Awolowo University on 12 May 1987 in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whose brainchild the institution was.
Why OAU students think they are the best
This great university has grown in bounds over the years. In this post, EduCeleb.com presents you reasons why students of the OAU believe that their school is the best.
In the anthem of Great Ife, as OAU is otherwise known, the university is described as Africa’s most beautiful campus.
OAU covers a great expanse of land totalling about 2,020 hectares with a yearly population of about 35,000. The incredible architectural planning of structures and facilities that the institution enjoyed is by no means an accident.
Taking a closer look at the planning of the premier institution, it is glaring that it was a total test run and the government haven noticed their mistakes gave a grand master plan to OAU and her contemporaries.
Filled with foreign beautiful flowers everywhere you turn to, the institution has a double lane road that goes into it and gets terminated at the Senate building, the top of academic environment, where they both lead to several sections of the University.
Other parts of the institution include the residential area where students’ hostels are built together, religious ground where all churches and mosques are situated, lecturers’ quarters, the international market, the cemetery and also the zoo and the museum to mention a few.
For Learning and Culture
“For Learning and Culture” is the motto of OAU and it has served and continues to serve as the guiding principle for the community members’ behaviour. You may have heard people talk of this university as a place where no one accepts to be cheated. Both students and workers make their grievances known to the management through a well coordinated peaceful protest. In fact, not a single flower plant is destroyed in any protest, let alone burning of cars or any other facilities.
It has never been on the news that OAU students at one time or the other were asked to pay damage fees for properties destroyed. The protesting students would rather sing joyfully, chant to taunt the hellbent management, involve in games, fry puff pastry, cook beans for themselves and pray together. It is always a sight to behold.
When two individuals quarrel, they dare not touch each other, the worst is to say abusive words and go their ways. The punishment for touching or beating your opponent in a quarrel is a public disgrace tagged “Operation SMS” which means Severe Maximum Shishi at a popular place called Awo Café where such a person would be thoroughly dealt with by both a guy and a lady. There are people in charge of this and it is a culture that has existed for long which can never been extinct.
Any act of cultism or theft in OAU is met with bitter actions, and the punishment after thorough investigation is parading of the suspect nakedly in all students hostels.
An Assortment of Rich Life Experiences
The pride in OAU students comes from a blend of enviable academic excellence, daring unionism/aroism, extracurricular activities and a great entrepreneurial spirit.
Making headway academically requires rigorous efforts both physically and spiritually from the students. It is believed that before you fail, you have to read and before you pass, you have to read and reread. No wonder the religious ground is always filled up during exams where you see all manners of prayers and tongue-walking.
At the OAU, unlike other schools, lecture rooms are opened all times. They are never under lock as they are filled with people reading overnight since the library could not cater for the large number of students and is always locked by 10 pm. The opened classrooms have been a saving grace.
Great Ife unionism is a kind that students of other schools are always envy of, because they press home their demands logically. Times without numbers, Great Ife Students’ Union has taken legal actions against the school management and have always emerged winners in every case.
Extracurricular activities range from campus journalism to sports and others. Great Ife is believed to be the home of “AROISM”, with Awolowo hall as the front bearer, as earlier said.
Aroism is a coinage that emerged from provoking jokes. As at today in OAU, there is an association of Aroism championed by Awo boys who come out on entertainment nights in funny attires. They are accorded maximum respect by different brands and numerous artistes.
If you are a sadist, Awo boys would crack your ribs with laughter. If you have phobia for the public, move with Awo boys for just a month and your life will never be the same.
Another feature common to Great Ife is the incessant strike actions that come up every now and then. Back in the days, brothers, sisters and cousins who have been there will tell you to add at least two years to your stay once you tell them you have picked OAU as your choice in JAMB. Anything could cause strike in Ife, ASUU, NASU, water supply, electricity supply, examinations and others. Even at that, we are proud of our university.
Peaceful, Just and Egalitarian Society
OAU is a microcosm of the kind of Nigeria we have always craved for. A country where there is security of lives and properties.
One begins to wonder at the way students move about freely on the campus round the clock without any intimidation whatsoever. This applies everywhere from the academic area to the hostel, from the hostel to the market, religious ground and even the lectures’ quarters. The only thing that differentiates day and night is the presence of street lights, not the absence of people on those streets.
In OAU, the night is not always dead. Also, there is no segregation between the rich and the indigent students. Everyone rolls together. You would only be segregated if you are seen to be proud, and in no mean such a person would come out of his/her shell after good lessons.
At Great Ife, lecturers sell their books at the school bookshop, students choose to or choose not to buy without any victimization.
The pride in being a Great Ife student is not unconnected with the large number of the institution’s great alumni who are thriving in their chosen career here in Nigeria and in the diaspora.
Some of them include Jimoh Ibrahim, Femi Falana, Biyi Bandele, Francis Awe, Enoch Adeboye, Dele Momodu, Dr Olusegun Mimiko and a host of others.
Any student who has gone through a variety of experiences such as the ones above in OAU has native intelligence, good academic background and great interpersonal skills needed in the outer world all baked into one.
Such a student will, no doubt, be boastful about the institution that has moulded him/her and will definitely thrive wherever s/he goes.
OAU students are proud of their university. What can you say about your school? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.