What happened to “social justice” and “equal chances”?

I went through the list of the most notable alumni of the University of Ibadan, and I found almost 100% of them did not have first-class degrees. Almost 100% of the biggest donors to school projects [from the Main Gate to Sankore] did not have a first-class degree.

The strange policy of allowing only first-class degree holders in the convocation hall is not in their honour. It is-put simply-some convocation planning committee people somewhere that see the University as a toy and could not just help fiddling with power.

What does such policies say about UI degrees? As exemplified by the Administration itself, only first-class degrees of the school should be reckoned with and taken seriously? This is how to lose potential donors in the future. It is how to lose the Alumni. Already, many graduates feel detached from the school. Depriving them of their day of fulfilment [some feel very happy about it] is segregation.

And what is the excuse? Covid-19. That is not a good reason enough to pass such policies. The International Conference Center easily takes thousands of people at once with spaces left. The world has perfected ways to effect good personal distancing and other COVID protocols.

Moreover, not everybody will attend the ceremony, including those with first-class degrees – the set in focus is currently scattered across the country on the NYSC program.

Additionally, merely banning parties post ceremony is enough to prevent the University from being overcrowded. People are not prevented from attending inaugural lectures and inaugurations. The move is not smart. UI is not some second-generation school. It is shameful the pacesetter school is struggling to join the juniors [by every standard] in floating a shocking apartheid policy.

We know Administration has often taken careless decisions and given the institution bad press, but this newest action is very strange.

Ojo, Aderemi

Ibadan, 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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