I am confident that the Nigerian mind is speaking already through someone at the sight of the headline of this article that ‘this guy does not want to graduate’. “Isn’t this the same student activist who was suspended for 4 Semesters for protesting and writing articles?
Wasn’t he the same person who was framed and charged before a kangaroo Court and was incarcerated at KiriKiri Prisons for protesting for the reinstatement of a visually-impaired student? It seems he likes to suffer.” All these assertions may be correct.
But maybe graduating means something else to some of us. It means transiting from a level of unconsciousness to a level of consciousness till you hit the highest level. What School should do but intentionally it is not doing.
I have decided to wade into the recent imbroglio at the University of Lagos and share my thoughts unbiased, relating to some articles I have seen online and press statements even from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
I wasn’t surprised at all when an article titled THE REAL REASONS BEHIND BABALAKIN’S QUERIES TO UNILAG MANAGEMENT was circulated on social media with the allegation therein. Anyone following political happenings diligently in the Country would know Dr Wale Babalakin’s penchant for probity anywhere he goes. He looks into the books.
Babalakinism is a term which means looking into books of account brilliantly, for that matter to fish out what should be stolen. The allegations of abuse of office against him however cannot in any measure erase the allegations of alleged corrupt practices of the Management- some of which I and other conscious minds have raised in the past.
The Sports Centre 36 million naira that went down the drain under the ‘directorship’ of Cecilia Arinye and a new rumoured allegation of 40 million naira allotted to renovate Dr Folashade Ipaye’s house remain carpeted till this moment. That it (40 million naira) could even be worthy to be a rumour in a University is unfounding because Donald Trump, a ‘whole’ President of the United States spends 10 million dollars annually on renovation.
My source at the Senate told me immediately the issue started that it was a case of ‘misappropriation not going round’. Sad.
This is what you get when people who if managing a poultry, would make sure eggs are stolen, are given a University to manage.
It is rather unfortunate that we have accepted the sad reality that relegates our ‘scholars’ to chasers of political appointments- people who are ready to lick butts to be made Special Assistants, VCs and even Hall Masters.
This is the reality here while elsewhere Professors are busy in the libraries and research centres trying to save the World. How do you expect a Professor who has received 30 million dollars in grants from Ford to be hustling to be a Vice-Chancellor or a Hall Master so he can start allocating bed spaces to his retinue of girlfriends? He is busy of course.
But right here, it is the best thing that can happen to a Professor. He would celebrate God’s faithfulness as he now has unfettered access to public funds. Something urgently must be done to re-engineer this system to the end of making scholarship about value-delivery and not favour-sharing.
It is to this end, I would, as an act of benevolence want to proffer three solutions to these shameful and unfortunate events displayed by the power-brokers at the University:
There is an urgent need for the resources of the University to come under democratic control and management which should also involve students. It is highly unreasonable how the major constituents of a Community are not part of decision making; decisions that affect their well-being and the quality of what they offer the World in the future of work. Do you know that the University of Lagos like most Universities have failed to establish a fully constituted Budget Monitoring Committee involving key stakeholders? Despite an agreement signed between ASUU and the Federal Government as far back as 2013 to check the spending of resources. It provides for students to be members of the University Budget Monitoring Committee (UBMC). This would bring about the much-talked-about probity and accountability by both parties. This is therefore a call for students to begin to organize towards enthroning a radical student leadership on that Campus.
That each aggrieved party should report any of their findings to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) as the case may be. This would do the University a lot of good. Rather than taking the fight to social media, employing propagandists who rant without mentioning names and putting the allegations straight. This, they should do before we do.
That to bring about peace as I am known for, all alleged members both in the Senate and Governing Council should sheathe their swords, apologize to one another, reach out to the students too because they deserve an explanation. These managers should then come together, sum up their intellection if there is any left, to chronicle the events that have taken place under the 'reign' of two Vice-Chancellors (at least the ones I know) and title the book- HOW NOT TO RUN A UNIVERSITY. This would prevent reccurence and even their reincarnation. I may assist with the editing and publishing for free.
Adeyeye Olorunfemi is a student activist under political victimization at the University of Lagos.
He can be reached through [email protected]