The recent happenings within the four walls of the University of Ibadan can be described as one that will indeed make a wonderful, suspense filled, heart breaking, laughter creation and thought provoking collection of short stories or opinions of the general populace, like you are experiencing the reality now.
It all started on the 8th day of the fifth month in the year 2017 at a popular hall that doubles as one of the event centres in the University of Ibadan, Trenchard Hall, which while performing its duty of hosting some important members of the University, witnessed a lot of dramas, which had never been done before for the past many years of its job as a host of different events.
The event was the inauguration of the newly elected executives of the Students’ Union for the 2016/2017 academic session. The president elect, Ojo Aderemi, while giving his inaugural speech dared the management by declaring, on the authority of the Students Handbook of the University that ladies should start using hotplates in their halls of residence.
The VC’s reaction was like that of a warlord who allowed his opponent to display his fists to his own pride and ego, and thereafter, shook his head because he was certain that his opponent would be defeated. He told the President emphatically that if he wants to lock the gate, he could go ahead. This to an average man suggests that a battle line has been drawn.
Some individuals could have been quoted to have said,“you know, there is no second chance to create a first impression. The first chance Ojo had of making an impression in the minds of the managements of the University of Ibadan; he didn’t utilize it at all. He shouldn’t have said what he said. In fact, even if he felt the urge to say it, then the manner in which he said it, considering the Vice chancellor he has, he made a costly mistake. That is even why I was not surprised at the VC’s comment. He considered Ojo’s statement as an affront to his dignity, and with the calibre of person he is, he isn’t the one who will give heed to stale demands. Ojo displayed ego, but the VC displayed more ego, and when there is a clash of egos, it always takes time before either let go.
The statements of the two authorities (Ojo and the Vice Chancellor) became trending in the University and warranted different reactions from the students. Many lambasted Ojo by saying his action was ridiculous and saw him as one who was not willing to go diplomatic with the managements at all. Some even predicted that if Ojo did not retract his statements openly and change his tactics, students would definitely not write their exams.
Ojo, considering the fact that he represents the students and in a bid to know exactly what the students need, made a move to announce a congress where by the decisions of the students will be binding on him, and partially on the managements. The congress held at SUB foyer on the 27th of May, and it was resolved among other things that “no ID card, no exam” and “there will be a peaceful protest on Monday for the world to know at large what UITES are going through”.
SUB Foyer, on the 29th of May, oblivious of the fact that the VC made a promise to the students’ leaders the previous day to come and address them on Monday, observed and could tell what the future would be. What a child will not see while standing, an old man will see while seated. SUB foyer was already certain of the fact that a war was coming and students would bear the booties the more, although they stand for what is right and what is their right. It also knew that the VC’s ego will prevent him from coming to where it resides, just because it belongs to students, and he doesn’t have anything to do with the students. And SUB foyer wasn’t disappointed when the VC refused to show up and students, determined to show what they were made of matched in their hundreds from there to the street of Ibadan to tell the world their story after waiting fruitlessly for the VC to come and address them. “Once there is a clash of egos, it always take time before either let go”.
On the same date, residence of Ibadan, brothers and sisters at Agbowo and the general populace at large witnessed the ego of the students when they trooped on masse to the street. But no sooner had they started their ego than the Vice Chancellor, displaying his own ego “on behalf of the Senate” ,ran to Diamond FM and announced the closure of the school, with the pronouncement that students should vacate their halls of residence before 6pm that day.
This pronouncement was the same thing that occurred during “free Mote” time, and in the eyes of the law, such is not only void, but contrary to the principles of natural justice and the dictate of reasoning. This is because of lack of reasonable time, and absence of emergency. “Once there is a clash of ego, it always take time before either let go”.
The battle has begun. The management is vindicating herself, telling the story in such a way that the world will be on her side. Students are not even dulling themselves. They use the same medium the managements use to counter their points and retell the story. Let’s even see who will lose should either of the parties decide to give heed. The management has spoken that before the issuance of ID card will be resolved, it will take at least three months. And students are resolved that no ID card, no exam. These two are on opposite directions on many issues.
What the students tend to lose should they let go of their ego are: First, they will not get their ID cards as and when due, and continue in the hardship they have been suffering from even when the issue never arose like harassment, loss of scholarship grants and many other benefits having a valid ID card confers.
Second, the students will keep on using their kerosene stoves with all its attendant effects like high cost of purchasing kerosene, blackness of pots and risk of life as well as property. These are the two major things students will lose should they surrender, and this will tell in the standard of the institution in the long run.
Now to the management, the only thing they stand to lose if they drop their ego is their pride, and that’s even a good thing, because pride leads to destruction, and because the students tend to lose more if they drop their ego, it is only logical and expected for the management to drop hers. Even the world at large will praise them for their decision because it will show their respect for students’ welfare and this will be the managements’ victory for students which will forever be remembered.