UI students’ Union debunks Punch advertorial, says management lied

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[Ibadan]–The University of Ibadan Students’ Union has debunked a recent advertorial sponsored by the university management in the PUNCH Newspaper of June 4, 2017 page 49.

According to the Students’ Union, the advertorial not only contradicts the Senate’s decision, it also made a futile attempt at demonizing the students Union and its leadership as it diminishes the students of University of Ibadan as a bunch uncultured lots, who cannot follow laid down rules.

This debunking was contained in a Students’ Union release titled “REJOINDER: FACTS ABOUT THE STUDENTS’ PROTEST ON MAY 29, 2017; WHAT LED TO THE MAY 29TH PROTEST” made available to THE PAGE on Tuesday.

In the release, the Students’ Union stated that it is disappointing and disheartening that the school management of the Premier University of Ibadan channelled funds, which they claim are unavailable to be spent on welfare of students, on needless advertorials.

“Our attention has been drawn to a recent advertorial by the management of our University on the state of affairs in Nigeria’s premier University which even contradicts the Senate resolutions.  The advertorial made a futile attempt at demonizing the students Union and its leadership.

“It tries to diminish the students of University of Ibadan as a bunch uncultured lots, who cannot follow laid down rules.

“It’s so disappointing and disheartening that the school management of the Premier University of Ibadan channelled funds, which they claim are unavailable to be spent on welfare of students, on needless advertorials. It is worthy to note that the cost of each of those advertorials could pay the entire power bill of a hall of residence for 2 months. One wonders how many they have done, and how many more they are ready to do, to propagate their false narrative.

“The well doctored script blames everyone for the crisis in the school except the management, who we assume are being paid for administering the institutions, not to trade blames. Were we surprised? Not one bit. We are merely disappointed at how low they can go.  In one of their many lies, they said the President of the Students Union, Ojo Aderemi directed female students to violate the rules and tenancy agreement by cooking in the kitchenettes with electric cookers. What they didn’t say however is that the president merely read out a section of the students information handbook which guides conducts of students and expressly stated what is allowed and disallowed. Where as, the kitchenettes are provided for students to cook using electric cookers provided by the management in 2012.

“We must reiterate here that no where in the the handbook or Ethics governing halls of residence was cooking with electric cookers outlawed. We are however not ignorant that the school is making attempts to amend these laws overnight.  The said Student Information Handbook states under Chapter 6, page 84 that “the use of certain electrical appliances may cause electrical faults and results in fire hazards. Therefore, under no circumstance must electrical appliances such as electric cookers, toasters, grills, immersion heaters, heating coils, hot plates, iron, television, refrigerators, oven, and multiple outlets etc. be used in students’ rooms. These may be used in rooms specially provided for the purpose in each hall.”

“They however need to be reminded that no law takes retroactive effects and they should be assured that we will politely resist any attempt to jeopardize the wellbeing of our students, who are the reason for a university.  Without equivocation, the generality of students in the University of Ibadan are law-abiding, peaceful but conscious.We are not rascals who always seek to fight, but radicals who will always fight, not merely to be right, but for our rights. It is in our peaceful, but conscious, ever intelligent, but vigilant, maner that a Students’ Union Congress was summoned on the 27th May 2017.

“While the Congress was an exercise of our fundamental Right to Association as contained and enshrined in the provisions of Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended in 2011), which supersedes every other law or regulation, it was also a duly constituted Congress under the Students’ Union Constitution which informs our Union’s principles.  Thus,the unfounded argument of the University via its Bulletin that the Congress was not legal is completely baseless, as the Congress was duly summoned by the President, endorsed by the Students’ Representative Council, and quorum attendance was record.

“Again, it is pertinent to affirm without hesitation that contrary to the University Management’s publication grossly alleging that part of our resolutions in the Congress were, to disrupt the proposed visit of the Governor to the International Conference Centre and lock all Faculties, Lecture Rooms and the Centre for General Studies of the Univeristy.  While there were no such intentions or submissions at the Congress, even if there were, none of such constituted part of the resolutions of the Congress held on the 27th May, 2017.

“Again, the supposed resolution to lock University Buildings was a poorly conceived notion on the part of management, as the protest was held on a public holiday, and as such all official buildings would be closed.  It is trite to affirm that our administration made every possible move to avert a protest, we consulted with management, we dialogued with them, we even admonished the Vice-Chancellor to make a release to calm the students.  But instead of the management to listen to us, we were severally threatened on several instances, and on one of such meetings, the Vice-Chancellor blurted out “I cannot dialogue with a beardless 200level Student”.

“It is necessary that we spare a moment to sympathize with Prof Idowu Olayinka. Voices around the university say that the current Vice-Chancellor is shocked at the amount of rot he inherited in the system.  As a member of the last administration who was allegedly installed by his predecessor, he has the painful duty of covering the rot, and keep the university running in the face of dwindling resources. This he has tried to do with the best of his abilities.

“Compromising the welfare of students is however one path we are not ready to thread as these folks are not the beneficiaries of the contract bazaar and general wastefulness that lead us here. As our contribution to his success, we are calling on the anti-graft agencies to come and check the books of the university and bring whoever led us here to book. Perhaps, some persons who occupy choice offices in Abuja will be made accountable for their past misdeeds.

“That our Nation may with pride, help to build a world that is truly free…,” The Students’ Union submitted.




Copyright 2017 The Page. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thepageng.com as the source.

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