“WHY WE CLOSED DOWN UI”, Prof. A. I. Olayinka , UI VC.
– By Sunday Saanu (Media Assistant to the Vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan)
University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor , Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka has provided more insight into the circumstances leading to the closure of the institution against undergraduate students, just as he insinuated devil’s advocates propelling some of the students to disrupt the peace on campus.
Speaking during a live interview on the University’s radio station, Diamond FM, Prof. Olayinka lamented that it was unfortunate that some of the student leaders had over bloated image of themselves , describing themselves as Commanders-in-Chief of Aluta group.
“How do you describe a situation in which a 200 -level student asking the VC to come and apologize to him? Is it not morally right for a student to be describing the VC as a disgrace? I was a student in this same university about 40 years ago, I still have some of my lecturers on the payroll of the university. I dare not disrespect them. In those days, you could not even look at an Assistant Lecturer eye ball to eye ball. But today, some of our mighty students want the VC to prostrate for them’, he stressed.
Prof. Olayinka insisted that the university was not just teaching the students academic , but training them on character before learning, saying, it is “unAfrican” for young people to disrespect , ridicule and satirize the elders.
On the issue of the contentious identity card, the VC disclosed that the contract for the production of identity card that will last four to five years depending on the duration of the studies has just been awarded , pointing out that the students were just looking for excuses to avoid writing the first semester examination.
According to him, “we suggested that they could use their library identity card, course form or clinic identity card as a means of identification to write the exams, they kept threatening that they would not write the exams unless the identity card was produced. And, I am not a magician that will produce 30, 000 cards in a day”
The VC who spoke on different issues raised during the interview hinted that the Management decided to shut down the school in order to protect the lives of the students, pointing out that he could not afford a situation in which the students trooped to the federal road, contiguous to different hotspots to protest, asking rhetorically, “what if the protest was hijacked and some of them were shot and killed?”
Prof. Olayinka who hinted that some forces on campus were using the students to disrupt the academic calendar remarked that it was unfortunate that the calendar has to be adjusted again and again as a fallout of various protest.
He advised the students to be remorseful as a condition for the reopening of the school just as he urged the parents to talk to their children at home, maintaining that “we want them to finish their studies and go on time rather than staying behind to fight over banned electric cooker in the hostel, thereby wasting their precious time while their colleagues elsewhere are fast moving up”