Bowen University Students Protest against forced Drug tests
Breaking with the tradition of excessive submissiveness which private university students in Nigeria are known for, students of Bowen University, Iwo Osun State, have staged a protest against management of the institution.
Private schools in Nigeria do not have student or teachers’ unions and mostly frown against expressing grievances in the open.
Bowen university students however broke the jinx, staging a protest against the school management for forcing the students to undergo drug tests.
The management of Bowen University however threatened to discipline students who refuse to take the tests.
Rumors within the school environment however suggest that management may have already carried out its threat, having suspended about 200 students already in relation to the drug tests.
There had also been videos circulating on social media allegedly showing a room in the boys’ hostel of the University on fire.
Responding to the entire episode however, the Registrar of the institution, Dr Kayode Ogunleye, said the viral videos were doctored.
Ogunleye also refuted the allegation that 200 students were suspended for evading the drug test to reporters from Punch Newspapers who paid him a visit.
“I don’t know where people got the report that a hostel was set on fire. You can come and visit the university and see if any of our hostels caught fire.
People started posting all sorts of things online. You know what people do with cameras these days. Of course, fire may be burning somewhere and then they juxtaposed it with a building and one could see smoke.”
Ogunleye confirmed that the university had enforced a drug test on some of its students with several others refusing to comply.
“There wasn’t any fire in the boy’s hostel. But there were some skirmishes and reactions from some students, who were supposed to face disciplinary action; a mattress was set on fire, and not the hostel.
Some students were supposed to face disciplinary action for their misbehavior in the university and they did not want to face it, so they were trying to stir up arguments and crisis so that the university would not be able to punish them. We did not suspend 200 students. They (those suspended) are not even up to 40.
Some refused to do the drug test and some did it and they tested positive to unauthorized substances. The matter has since been resolved. The school has called the parents of those affected and they had to go home with their parents. There isn’t any issue beyond that.”