By— Oladosu Olayinka
Enough of it all! Enough! Enough articles have been written about the crooked shape of things on campus. And that the writer has chosen to add yet another article to that Babel of articles is an inconceivable irony, even to himself. But a lot of pens have danced, drops of inks have swirled but some letters have not been spun. Some words have not been said. Some words need to be said. So, the writer writes.
A day before the first Students’ Union Congress which discussed the issue of I. D cards and use of hotplates in halls of residence held, many voices sang. While some sang sweet songs, other songs were bitter The judgment of which is sweet or bitter depended on which party you belonged to. “Should we protest or not?” was the big question on many minds, even before the congress started.
Someone blabbed that he heard the leadership of the Union did not want us to protest. A voice countered. “The Association of Non Academic Students will make him lead the protest” , the voice prophesied. The Association of Non Academic Students made sure the academic students protested, they made sure Ojo Aderemi led the protest and at that point, we lost the union. _Kpom!_
Yes, the Vice Chancellor said he has suspended the union leadership. But he did not. We did. We suspended the union leadership when we allowed intellect and logic to be bullied by the few who participated in the Congress. The Students’ Union was raped when moans of ex-members of the Union mounted the voice and scream of the Union. The Students’ Union was lost when ‘external orders’ were not just given wings but allowed to fly higher than the sons of the kingdom.
This is not about the UI VC. Yes, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka is an interesting specimen to study. His decisions may be, most times, laughable and totally out-of-the-box in a not-so-good way. But he is not the problem. This same Students’ Union sang many diss songs about Professor Isaac Adewole, Professor Olayinka’s predecessor. This same union said Professor Bamiro did not do well. The union has a problem. This union is the problem.
The writer talks about the Students’ Union in the present tense because he believes it still exists. Maybe the leadership was right when they said no one has the power to suspend certain bodies of the union… Maybe. The union is “U and I” and Professor “I” needs the U(nion) to have his U.I. Abi a university without a Students’ Union executive/legislative council, is that one a university? But the writer, like you, is curious – what happens when the Union is officially resurrected by our god? Let’s be guided, the writer pleads.
PS- Do not let the name of the writer fool you. The writer is no relative of Professor A. I. Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan.