UPDATE: Ekiti COVID-19 Task Force says FUOYE has been shut down, Management says school still in session

By Ajala Samuel Akindele

The Ekiti State Government COVID-19 Taskforce said that all physical classes and laboratories in the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti have been shutdown over the violation of COVID-19 protocols.

However, the school’s management has denied the closure and asked the students to go ahead with academic session.

The news about the school’s closure was disclosed in a statement released by the Head of Ekiti COVID-19 Taskforce, Professor Mobolaji Aluko, which was made available to UCJ FUOYE on Saturday, February 13, 2021.

FUOYE resumed her academic activities on January 19, 2021 after a long break as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike .

The school said that classes would be conducted virtually and physically to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

According to Ekiti State COVID-19 Taskforce, “a two-person Taskforce unit paid a surprise visit to FUOYE, Oye Campus, in the morning of Friday February 12, 2021, and found widespread violations of COVID-19 guidelines all over the campus.”

“Consequently the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Medical Officer were asked directly by the Taskforce Coordinator – Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, accompanied by SSA of Public Health, Dr. Jimlas Ogunsakin – to shut down until further notice all physical classes and laboratories, until a certificate of compliance is obtained from the Taskforce, as was previously required of the university (following a checklist previously sent to it) but not obtained”, the memo noted.

“The violations present a serious danger to the students, staff and the community surrounding the University. The university officials were told that any re-opening without compliance will be prosecuted,” the memo added.

Speaking with Professor Aluko on Saturday morning, he confirmed the shutdown of physical classes. He denied playing politics with the decision.

“The physical classes have been shut down until we certify their readiness to start classes”, he said.

Professor Aluko notes that “this is not a question of playing politics, we had gotten an extraction from the former VC and the medical health proceeds that they would ask the COVID-19 team to come and inspect the school before classes start. I was not even aware until people told me classes have started.”

“It has nothing to do with politics, if they had obeyed the rules, nobody would raise any objections and we sent out all the pictures of violation. Any politics involved is immaterial if the rules are obeyed”, he further noted.

“Physical classes should not occur until the COVID-19 Taskforce certifies them. We sent them a checklist almost a month and half ago. This is not about politics, all those statements about politics are irrelevant. I don’t play politics with the health of the students and community that those students go to. We have tried as much as possible to be strict with COVID-19 issues in Ekiti State,” he concluded.

Speaking for the school’s management in a telephone conversation with UCJ FUOYE, the Deputy Director, Corporate Services of the institution, Adeyinka Ademuyiwa said the officials came unannounced.

“On Friday some people came to campus unscheduled and they didn’t even visit the Medical Director as to the custom. When an health official is coming to a school they first see the officials”, Mr Ademuyiwa said.

“And the school is not closed, the school is in session. The officials of the school and the NCDC will meet shortly after that we will update you”, he further said.

“Whenever there are issues between government to government, you find a way to talk before taking any position”, he concluded.

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