- Can we get to know you please?
I am Comrade Oyekanmi Abdullahi Abiodun, TASUED Student Union President, 2011/2012 and a graduate of Political Science Department of the Premier University of Education.
- For those who are not well informed about TASUED, tell us about TASUED.
TASUED, a renowned preferred University of high repute in terms of qualitative delivery of knowledge, has strong preferences for moral characters and a high commitment to building self-reliant individuals who are capable of aiding the cause of nation building. In a special way, TASUED is a University with the unique selling point of training educators (reformers) and morally embroidered minds with an array of methodologies that are of global standards.
The University was established in 2005, having been upgraded from a College of Education. It’s a University blessed with committed stakeholders; ranging from industrious staff to progressive partnerships of her Alumni and a selfless managerial team.
These amongst other things led to the University being christened first in Nigeria, second in Africa and eighth in the world.
- Can you please share some of your experiences in TASUED?
Well, it depends on which side of the experience you wish to glimpse. Life in TASUED comes with mix feelings. I had experience as a student with the primary aim to get educated and certified for the course I applied to study. In this regard, it was a wonderful experience being a student of TASUED, and most importantly, a student of politics in a department touted to be exclusively reserved for the genius, headstrong and politically savvy students. As a student in TASUED, I had fun, was motivated by friends around, and took part in religious activities and other side attractions that made campus life a worthwhile experience.
On the other hand, I sometimes grieved when my immediate needs were lacking, when two square meals were not guaranteed and when fellow students jab at you for being a pauper. Nonetheless, I was never distracted from the goal; I ended up graduating as the best in the department anyway. “Lack of milk is not a lack of sound mind.”
- As the SUG President during the “scrapping” saga of TASUED, can you shed some light on the issues that arose?
There was nothing like scrapping of TASUED. What happened was the aborted or proposed scrapping policy of Ogun State Government.
However, the scrapping policy has been archived in the historical epoch of how TASUED students, her community, and staff defiled all odds and intimidation to heroically advocate, agitate and fight against an unjust policy of scrapping/merging.
It was a divine moment that saved the future of education in Ogun State, expanded the opportunities of the imminent generations to access higher education. Most importantly, on the part of the Student Union that was led by me, it was an unprecedented spirited “aluta” driven with a high level of intellectuality, maturity and uncommon civility; even in the face of executive provocation, harassment of union leaders, inducement, and other forms of maneuvering and scheming in desperate ways to hurriedly bury education on the altar of politics.
My brother, please let me stop here as I have long decided not to speak more on certain hidden issues on the subject. For the records, anybody who is bloodied with TASUED love, 2012 was a February to remember for us!
- Humble TJ is acclaimed a TASUED unforgettable hero, how true is that?
Comrade Fashina Olatunji David paid the ultimate sacrifice to wipe out TASUED tears. Nobody can be more honorable than him, even in death. He died as a committed General. Those of us who were with him in his last moments are witness to how he shouted; “TASUED, TASUED, TASUED” till he breathed no more. He was a brilliant student who combined academics with community service. In honor of his departed soul, we named the SUG building after him. May Allah forgive his sins and grant his family the needed fortitude to bear the loss.
- Apart from the scrapping of TASUED, can you share your experiences with us as the TASUED SUG President; the challenges you faced and gains?
Despite having to spend 7 months in office, added to the attendant upheavals of the scrapping that greeted my tenure, my executives and I were able to perform creditably well.
First, we instituted a rare policy where students who could not afford their full school fees were allowed to pay half of the fees through the Micro-finance bank while the remaining balance was paid in the second semester. We facilitated amnesty for hundreds of students who were unjustly or harshly rusticated from the University; championed a borehole project in Imaweje, relaxation center at the Photo ground, renovation of the SUG hostel, the complete beautification of the Student Union building and its conference room, introduction of Keke-NAPEP for the first time in TASUED – these amongst other things were part of our landmarks.
On the issue of challenges; sometimes, I feel burdened by the funny expectations from the members of the public who are mostly of the opinion that, occupying such an office is a license to become unreasonably rich. It may interest you that till date, some people do not believe I don’t have a car of my own; they think I have been hiding my personal house from the public. Some people would even demand for financial favors that I can’t afford.
However, in terms of gains, my greatest joy is to see that the University survived the scrapping agenda and that it has been growing steadily from such set-backs. I am also happy for the guidance of Allah, in that I have been able to protect the name of my family from being soiled – if the University had been scrapped, people would be quick to reference to my name as the eagle whose feathers were clipped by the hawk. I have no regrets whatsoever of my activities while I was the SUG President.
TASUED @ 10; what’s your message to the students, staff and members of the public?
To the students and staff; for TASUED to have survived 10 years is neither a joke nor a tea party. It’s the result of committed founding fathers, civil students, dedicated staff and cooperative members of the public. Let us keep the spirit flowing, as TASUED soars higher in qualitative education and nation building.
- What are the notable changes and victories recorded on TASUED’s ten year journey; are there wrongs that should be amended or stopped for the advantage of the institution?
Presently, there seems to be a growing reconnection with the infrastructural drive of the past, it’s an encouraging change. Secondly, the porous security network on and off the campus seems to have changed for the better.
However, I strongly recommend that the University Management should step up the efforts on her frontier war against cultism and other social vices to stem the ugly tide of the bad old days returning to the campus. I also recommend that a program should be packaged with the purpose of instituting the right values and academic culture in the students and staff. Lastly, on a serious note, the University should continue to appreciate her best; staff, student leaders, and students. In that lies the secret of preserving the legacy of hard work, selfless service and morality that were the hallmark of TASUED’s foundation.
Where do you see TASUED in the next 10 years and afterwards?
In the next ten years, TASUED would be a global University with international students and scholars at its beckon!
If we are right, you undertook your NYSC service year in TASUED, why was this?
I served in TASUED because the then University Management felt I was needed as a good example for the upcoming student leaders – to serve as a wakeup call to them and underscore the fact that Unionism is not about hooliganism, but about the need to internalize a culture of brilliance, maturity, morality, selflessness and public service.
Do you have any final words?
“We know the true owners of TASUED, posterity will reward everyone.”