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U.I Vice – Chancellor; Idowu Olayinka: A Case Study of “THE PHARAOH” on Nigeria’s Campuses :By Olayimika Chocomilo

Four years ago, the leadership of FPE Students’ Union protested the usage of the school pavilion by the organisers of “Ogbeni Jubilee’s Cup” for the kick-off ceremony. It was a very unusual, unpleasant and bad day for Aregbesola, organisers of this competition, top officials in Osun Govt. and invited guests because they were thoroughly embarrassed, ridiculed and humiliated by the leadership of FPE Students’ Union. Despite pleas from government officials, organisers and invited guests; they did not allow these people to come into the pavilion and organisers were forced to pick another venue for the competition.

Eventhough it was a political move sponsored by the opposition as opined by some students while union officials lamented that they were not informed by the school authority; at the final stage, the management of FPE proscribed the union for four years.

There is no doubt that the suspension of union activities whenever there is a clash of interest between managements of institution and union officials has become a tradition as far as education is concerned in our country and it has become a “growing snake” that has extended its poison across the whole nation in which the students’ union of the premier university has become the newest victim of this broad-daylight madness.

I received with a rude shock the suspension of union activities of the University of Ibadan Students’ Union under the leadership of Ojo Aderemi who refused to settle for the less like other union leaders and acted on the decision of the majority.

According to one of our members (a student of this prestigious institution), he stated that “The union activities was suspended based on two things; the failure of the school management to produce identity cards(ID) for undergraduates after two sessions and the agitation for the use of hotplates in the female hostels’ kitchenette”.

The union demanded for the production of ID cards before examination and the use of hotplates in female hostels’ kitchenette as stipulated in the school handbook. These demands led to the closure of the school and the suspension of the union activities. I could remember few weeks ago during the inauguration of Ojo Aderemi’s administration where he said and I quote “If you protest, we will close the school”. What a man of his words.

The action of Idowu Olayinka is just a tip of the iceberg of what comrades and campus activists have passed through in the hands of these heads of institution. My sympathy goes to the entire students of the premier university and I send my condolences to top officials of this institution on how they ridiculed the truth.

I could remember in one of my write-ups, I advised NANS, NAPS and other pressure groups the need to resolve issues of suspension, expulsion of union officials and proscription of unions rather than constant celebration of scopes and giving of awards to politicians who emptied the treasure of our dear nation.

It is a great slap on our collective intelligence as comrades that NANS officials could gather as a body to pay visit to one of our airlines services to reduce service fees and they could not gather as a body to implement “operation free UNILAG students”.

The suspension of University of Ibadan Students’ Union is illegal, unlawful and lack of political fairness. It stains the conscience of every upright activist and it truly calls for sober reflection. The actions of Idowu Olayinka could be linked with the way how the ancient pharaoh lived his life in past years. The ancient pharaoh was a cruel, despotic and callous leader who protected the interest of few against that of the majority. Idowu Olayinka protected the interest of the management and cabals within this institution like other heads of school. They represent a shameful segment of rot in our educational system and the need to flush these elements has become a responsibility we must bear.

Expulsion of Olawale Ogunruku of OAU, Femi Adeyeye of UNILAG, expelled students of UNIPORT and other comrades who have experienced the other side of struggle and the heat of oppression of secondary oppressors are victims of the actions of pharaohs in our institutions.

This is the time for us to rise and stand for the rights of these comrades and reinstate the union activities of these schools because the negligence of the external bodies has served as a reason for the continuity of this madness in our citadel of learning.

Always remember that Idowu Olayinka is one of the pharaohs and he is a custodian of this shameful tradition of expulsion and illegal suspension. Do not be amazed or surprised rather let us find ways to redeem University of Ibadan Students’ Union, UNILAG and others before they end up turning us to dummies and mumus. Our mumu don do.

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