First, I do like to remind everybody reading this that mistakes are created to be made anywhere and by anybody. It is a step in the wrong direction at the wrong time to have honoured the invitation of the Governor. ON THIS BASIS I APOLOGIZE. I apologize profusely and I will always raise it on WhatsApp or any other medium before taking any steps. I will like it if you read the details of the so-called visit.

“At some minutes past 2 o’clock on Thursday, a blogger friend asked me to pick up a call from one of our friends. He said the Governor of the State wants student leaders around Ibadan around in the evening. The State Governor was misinformed about the protests and I received a call on May 29 from one of his Special Advisers called me to ask whether we are going to disrupt the Governor’s event. I didn’t ask what the individual who picked up the call said to him. His own concern was his boss’ program and not us. Up till today, neither the State Governor nor his aides ever showed interest in a crisis that happened under his nose. I mean right here in Ibadan.

So when the issue of responding to his request came up, I asked those around me on what their opinion on the request is. After we deliberated for minutes on the issue, it was agreed that we’ll go, clarify the issue and speak about the rot in the education sector in Oyo State. What about UI. I said the necessary people have intervened already. If he was interested in the crisis, he would have said something since then. He is the CSO of the State.

Then I mandated my blogger friend that whatever we do there, it must be snapped and audio/video recorded. Simply for the sake of posterity. I mean times like this.

I spoke gently and calmly to the Governor but without compromising the fundamentals. I dwelt more on the issue of LAUTECH than UI. “I implore you to take education very seriously in the State. It is shameful the percentage of the budget that goes into the Education sector is 6.4 per cent instead of the 26 per cent that was recommended. The crisis can be solved from here.” bla bla bla. “You can intervene Sir, it will be appreciated.”

The Governor first rebutted all my points -not with facts but he was not so pleased with the points I raised. He then asked me to write a letter to ask for his support. I’m sure UItes will kill me if I send such letters.

We have all the support we need already;

  • The greatest of this support is the large one rooted among students. Without students I am nothing.
  • The Labour Unions are the best of allies any Students’ Union can get. The NLC gladly supported us. The Alumni, ASUU, NASU, and SSANU.
  • The Independent Press
  • Ordinary Nigerians and comrades around the world.

I wish to state for the sake of records, that up till the point when I left the venue of the I’ll fated meeting, and in contrast to the long-standing tradition of students leaders collecting money from people in government to compromise the interest of students, I neither requested for nor collected money from the governor. Our leaders have decided to chart a new frontier in the rule of engagement with high office holders. We have resolved that the era of student leaders behaving like merchants must give way, we have decided to set a standard, because in the words of Leon Trotsky, “…. Where tradition is lacking, a striking example becomes necessary “. I, being the symbol representing University of Ibadan Students there. Such meetings, I will never attend again until UItes are consulted and they give me the go-ahead.

We remain the movers of righteousness and good governance. *****************************************************************************************

Meanwhile, if you are a UIte and you are in Ibadan. There will soon be a general meeting this week. The time and venue will be communicated soon.

Ojo Aderemi.

Ile-Ife, Nigeria.


Ojo, Aderemi is a Historian, teacher, public speaker, writer, politician, and community organiser. He was trained at the University of Ibadan and was President of the Students Union.

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