COMRADE OGUNROTIFA ADEYEMI RICHARD said in his Speech during the 2015/2016 SUG INAGURATION of Adeyemi Federal University of Education Student Union Government, that It is our unshakeable belief that we the students of today are the potential leaders of this great nation and so we dedicated to ensuring that the legacy of national foundation on which we are supposed to inherit and build upon, is not a sandy one. This is our mission for the session and our aspiration for ensuring years.
I consider it a privileged responsibility to address this distinguished assembly on behalf of the Students’ Union of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo. We have chosen to seize this expensive opportunity to bring into focus certain observations which we consider pertinent to the attainment and sustenance of peace and continuous progress which we believe is the major yearnings and aspirations of both the students and the authority of this college.
We like to reiterate our conviction that unless there is mutually cordial relationship between these two interwoven bodies, the realization of this aspiration may be difficult. My executives have thus chosen me to address this assembly of the students and the authority as partners in progress. We may, in the course of our expostulation, touch on certain sensitive areas and issues; if we do, we anticipate a magnanimous equanimity in the reception of our views.
STUDENTS’ RESOLUTIONS, CONVICTIONS AND ASPIRATION
Mr. Provost Sir and our distinguished guests, permit me to inform you that the students of this College are resolved to pursue a completely new dynamics orientation in its Students’ Unionism. We are determined to make positive the negative impression which certain sectors of the public erroneously hold against us. We are committed to making the society no longer regards us as “Exuberant, indiscipline and vandalistic” we are anxious to convince the public to realize the contradiction between students’ protests and students’ crisis.
We recognize that we are real pivot of national unity of this country. It is our unshakeable belief that we the students of today are the potential leaders of this great nation and so we dedicated to ensuring that the legacy of national foundation on which we are supposed to inherit and build upon, is not a sandy one. This is our mission for the session and our aspiration for ensuring years.
However, much as we try to realize these emulated yearnings, certain barriers are, either by design or by accident, thrown on our path. Permit me to highlight some of these hazards militating against us especially those that are local and peculiar to us in this Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.
DISHEARTENING ACCOMMODATION SITUATION
We have watched helplessly the daily degenerating condition of accommodation problem in this campus, all students, especially the residents of LOYO, ETF, TINUBU halls know what I am talking about. Seriously speaking, this College has come of age with the celebration of its Golden Jubilee in the year 2014. But then, it is incredibly disillusioning to realize that by now, this college cannot boost of comfortably accommodating its teeming students or thereabout.
This year, over 1000 part one students cannot be accommodated, the whole of part 2 and 3 degree, part 2 NCE are forced to become tenants in various parts of Ondo town while some of the final year students are constrained to become compulsory humanitarian landlords. We should have regarded this disheartening situation as a sort of “honorable suffering” but for the fact that this college is not doing anything near enough to alleviate our suffering. We are not unaware of the dwindling economy of this nation which have adverse effect on the funding of tertiary education in Nigeria, neither are we ignorant of the excuse that oil price has dropped in the international market. But we are saying that the need has arisen to treat the peculiar accommodation dilemma of Adeyemi College of Education in a peculiar way.
As a temporary solution, we suggest an immediate conversion of all convertible areas into livable accommodation. As long term solution, we suggest an urgent embarkation on the building of gigantic building like it is done in OAU, Ile-Ife. On the student’s level, we will constitute a Students’ Accommodation Task Operation (SATO) to supplement the Authority’s effort. We hope when we present our recommendations, they will be given co-operative attention.
LECTURE ROOM INADEQUACY
It is ironical that the primary academic motivation of this College is not satisfied. Take a general education class as an example where class always overcrowded; some students cannot find their ways inside the lecture theatre thereby standing outside and lack total participation in the academic activities at that period.
In many lecture rooms, half of the students cannot follow their lecturers because there are no public address systems. Students are reduced to the shameful level of having to rush for everything including reserving seats for friends before lecture. This situation cannot just continue unrectified.
To briefly put this problem is dual partite. One is the outrageous charges from the motorcycle operators on campus. Two is the unavailability of alternative transport system on campus. Problem one has been discussed with the leadership of the Okada Riders Association and they have assured us of a downward review of the money charged. We only hope this response will not be a mere camouflage but a permanent policy. Problem two, we aim for the procurement of tricycle to ease student’s movement within the campus environment as it is done in notable tertiary institutions in the country. Nevertheless, financial constraint does not give room for the union to procure a number of tricycles we need on campus. It is in this vain that the union is partnering with a private investor who has procured a number of tricycles that we enhance easy movement on campus as to be commissioned today. The modalities of its operation would be passed across to all students through social media, notice board and all other media.
We want to maintain a cordial relationship with the Course Coordinators, Part Advisers, Heads of Department, Deans of School, and other teaching and non-teaching staffs and we also want you to reciprocate this gesture as we see ourselves as partners in progress with the institution authorities. To pay schools fees and other charges in banks will entails missing many lectures. There is bureaucratic and officious redtapism all over the place. Honestly, something has to be done to correct it.
The Students Union is not happy with the type of uncordial relationship existing between the students and their lecturers. The communication gap is too deep and wide and deserves bridging. This is not to say that the gap exists in all areas but generally, it is too profound. We ask to be seen as potential intellectuals and partners.
The welfare of the students seems not to be paramount in the mind of certain College workers. For example, the epileptic and the erratic power and water supply to halls of residence and academic environment. Sometimes burnt bulbs in strategic places take months to replace. Ordinary ceiling fans cannot be provided for students who bundle up in some hostels and lecture rooms. This dehumanizing situation has got to be looked into to ensure befitting tertiary education.
STUDENTS REPRESENTATIVE IN DECISION MAKING
The 2013 FG-COEASU agreement recommended students participation in decision-taking and policy making operations. The College Authority is in sympathy with this legitimate suggestion, but nobody is making efforts to implement it. We therefore demand to be regarded as partners in progress and to be taken in confidence.
STUDENTS PROTEST (not unrest)
It was Heraclitus, the famous Greek political philosopher who said and I paraphrase, “the day a society stops to protest, that day marks the beginning of the end of progress in the society”. Students’ unrest is a very sensitive issue and my administration will always give it all the reasons, objectivity and dispassionateness demanded by such an issue. We will ensure that we avoid any protest we cannot afford: all negotiation avenue such as dialogues, détente, etc., will be entered into and protest will be the last resort. If and when a protest becomes inevitable, a disciplined, mature and systematic approach will be engaged. We should have loved to predict a protest free session but this will be tantamount to predicting the unpredictable nature of man. Our actions shall always be a reaction to the actions of the powers-that-be. We shall always reciprocate reasonable and considerate gestures with identical gestures.
ACE STUDENTS UNION AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS (NANS)
The students Union of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo is a member of the NANS congress and the Students’ Union President is a member of the Senate arm of the organization. It is on records that this institution has produced national officers that gives the desired leadership to the organization in the past, the Students’ Union of ACE in this our dispensation will not want to tolerate further the sycophantic and administrative decadence that is daily bombarding NANS as organization, to us it is no longer going to be business as usual. The ACE SUG and other progressive Students’ Union body across the country will embark on radical overhaul of the various structures in NANS in order to eradicate the bad eggs in the organization, thereby restoring its lost ideological identity.
OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
We understand that in every society opportunity varies and strength defers, it is in this vain that the leadership of the union through the president are decided to consider our physically challenged students by giving two students (one from NCE, one from Degree) a scholarship of twenty five thousand naira (N25, 000) each. As we have set this precedence we want to encourage successive administration of the students Union to follow the path which we have laid.
STUDENTS MESSAGE OF CONGRATULATION AND GRATITUDE TO THE PROVOST
The entire students of this College extend their warm congratulation to the Provost on the brilliant administration of this college since he assumes office. We like to assure the Provost that his ‘no skeleton in the cupboard’ administration policy makes us proud of this College. We wish your new tenure another laudable success.
We also want to appeal to the Provost to see reason to review the cases of Students that are serving sanctions for misconduct to temper justice with mercy and pardon them to come and complete their academic programs.
To my colleagues in the Students’ Union Executive, Students’ Representative Council and Cabinets who are being sworn in today, I enjoin you to be dedicated to the noble cause of justifying the confidence reposed on us by the over eleven thousand and one students of this college, by our continue agitation and demand for the funding of Nigerian education to at least 26% for developing nations as recommended by UNESCO we shall achieve our collective aspirations.
My profound appreciation goes to Almighty God for making this day a reality, I also thank the Management and Staffs of this College, the Ondo State Government representatives, representative of the Federal Government, our respectable Special Guest of Honours, the ever conscious Great Arbicans Students, the Ranks and Files of the leadership of the Students Movement in Nigeria and beyond; NANS, NAPS, NANUS, WASU, AASU, ISU etc, the ideological organizations DSM, ERC, NIST etc., the religious organizations Christians and Moslems and other well-meaning personalities and organizations for their support so far and anticipated corporations.
Mr. Provost Sir,
Honourable Academics and Administrative Staff,
Invited Guest and dignitaries,
Gentlemen of the press,
And fellow future leaders.
Thanks for giving me audience.
Aluta continua… Victoria ascerta.
Credit: Arbico Parrot