Based on the complaints in some quarters that the Department of Geological Sciences of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN) insisted that students of the Department of Geological Sciences commence a field trip to Igarra, Edo State without their phones in the middle of insecurity, the institution’s management has come out to explain that it has cancelled the trip.
According to a statement by the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Ademola Adesoji, and made available to DAILY POST, the university management due to the agitations from the students and the reality of insecurity in the country had to cancel the study trip and approved that the students go ahead with the theory and also seek a safer place to do their field work.
He stated that the university’s commitment to the wellbeing and safety of its students has made it to continually postpone the Mapping Technique core course that every 300 level student of the Department of Geological Science must do.
In his words, “During this course, the students will have to embark on a trip to a special place where they will be taught the core practice of their work and one of the places that most universities in Nigeria that offer Geology as a course visit at least once a year is Igarra in Edo State.
“Recently the management of the University met with the security team and the Department of Geological Sciences on ways to go about the course to ensure the students’ safety. During the meeting, the school’s security advised the management that the only way they can embark on the study trip safely is for the students and the lecturers to work together as a team which meant the security team and only the leader of the team will have access to one or two utility phones which will be tracked for safety purposes.
“We all understand that it is very easy for students to travel and be sharing their details with strangers which can be a source of information for kidnappers and can be used against them.
“As we speak, more than four Universities offering Geology are currently in Igarra carrying out fieldwork exercise as part of the requirement of the Senate of the University, National Universities Commission (NYC) and Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientist (COMEG) before graduation.”
Corroborating, the Chief Press Secretary to the Osun State Governor, Ismail Omipidan in a statement obtained by DAILY POST stated that the proposed study tour of the Geology Department of UNIOSUN has just been put on hold.
While thanking parties that showed concern, Omipidan disclosed that information available to him indicated that the said trip was officially approved since March, 2021 but had to be put on hold on the instruction of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Labode Popoola.
He added that the department told Prof. Popoola about two months later that they were going to apply precautionary measures.
“To ascertain this fact, the VC personally went to the department to extract the commitment from all the students on the need to be security conscious.
“As part of the security measures, they were asked to deposit their phones with their leaders on the tour, while the institution provided four central telephone lines that can be used by all since some of the students themselves can be funny.
“In fact, the VC even offered to recharge the central lines from his own purse. All these measures were taken to minimize risks. He had to reveal all these to show we are indeed responsible. Long story short, trip has been suspended”, he concluded.
Concerned Nigerians had called out the university management on social media, accusing them of being insensitive to the security situation in the country and exposing their students to danger.