Many students of Southwestern University, Okun-Owa under Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State, don’t bathe for several days despite having to attend lectures, findings by SaharaReporters have revealed.
This disturbing trend is largely caused by the lack of regular water supply to hostels within the school.
An investigation by SaharaReporters revealed that sometimes for five straight days, water is not supplied to the hostels where students are accommodated despite being a private university.
This is also despite the fact that the school mandates tuition fees to be paid in United States dollars.
The situation apart from affecting the lives and studies of students in the school’s hostels is already sparking fears of an outbreak of infections and diseases among undergraduates of the university.
“Many of us don’t bathe for several days, this is not because we chose to do so but it is the situation in the hostels that puts us in such a condition. The management has failed to provide a regular water supply to hostels.
“Lecturers despite being aware of this situation, still fix classes for as early as 8:00 am. Students don’t have a choice but to attend such lectures without bathing.
“This goes on for several days until the school decides to supply water to the hostels when students can bathe again. We are tired of this barbaric treatment of students by the university authorities,” one aggrieved student told SaharaReporters on Tuesday.
Revealing that a lot of students living in the school’s hostels were now having skin rashes and other infections due to the unavailability of water for them to bathe for many days and attend to other personal needs, another undergraduate of the private school described their living conditions as worse than those of inmates serving time at correctional facilities in the country.
According to the student, anyone who dares to complain about the poor living conditions in the hostels faces the risk of getting suspended or slammed with an extra year by the university authorities.
“The sad part about this whole suffering is that you dare not complain because the moment you voice out your frustration, the school will either suspend or punish you with an extra year.
“This is supposed to be a private university where people come to learn and live good lives but at Southwestern University, the living conditions of students are worse than those of persons in correctional centres (prisons),” the undergraduate, who cannot be named for safety reasons, said.
Several videos and photographs showing the living conditions of students of the university which were seen by SaharaReporters depict that lack of regular water supply is a big issue frustrating undergraduates and equally affecting their daily activities.
Swarming around a big plastic tank and several buckets and containers lined up and stretching tens of metres to get water each time supply arrives, the large crowd of students scrambling for the precious liquid to attend to basic needs speaks volumes of the predicament of undergraduates residing in hostels at Southwestern University.
“If you see the way students rush out to get water whenever the school miraculously provides such, you will think we are animals in a jungle.
“We are being treated in a demeaning manner despite paying school fees in dollars. In fact, the tuition increases if the exchange rate of dollars also goes higher. That is the terrible situation we are enduring at Southwestern University,” another student told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters on Monday exclusively reported how the private university based in Ogun State suspended 17 students for demanding clean water and stable electricity supply in their hostels.
The management of the private university handed a six-week suspension to each of the 400 level students for having the guts to voice out their frustration despite warnings from the authorities.
Chancellor of the institution, Babatunde Odufuwa, who doubles as chairman of the Governing Council of Lagos City Polytechnic and Chief Executive Officer of Lagos City Computer College, SaharaReporters gathered, had earlier threatened to suspend any student who spoke against the school or demanded certain rights.
The spokesperson for the university, Mr Aderoju, when contacted with the latest findings by our correspondent on Monday did not respond to several calls put across to him.
A text message explaining details of the latest discovery by SaharaReporters had yet to be replied to as of the time of filing this report.