Reinstate Students' Union in University of Ibadan

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Dear Sir,


We, from the University of Ibadan Students’ Union, hereby write to your estimable office with the hope of bringing to your attention and appealing for your intervention with respect to the administrative quagmire presently besetting us as an institution.

On the 29th day of May, 2017, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, unilaterally declared by midday that all undergraduate students were to vacate the premises before 6pm on the same day. This declaration, which not only contravenes the university regulations but is also at loggerheads with the legal principle of “reasonable notice”, is similar to another of the Vice Chancellor that took place on the 26th of April, 2016, where he ordered students to vacate before 4pm.

The following day, the University Senate held a sitting after which all activities of the Students’ Union were declared suspended. Both actions are reactions to a peaceful demonstration by the Union which had taken place on the 29th of May to express grievance against the practical ban of hotplates and the non-provision of Student Identity Cards after two payments and three semesters. This demonstration was validly organised in pursuance of the resolution of a Congress of students.

Having listened to the Vice Chancellor himself, on numerous occasions, declare that students in relation to the management are partners in progress, and having observed from all angles the current development on campus, we the students humbly table the following demands towards advancing the collective interest of the University community:

1. Immediate release of the Students' Union Building and all properties of the Students' Union that has been wrongfully siezed.
2. Immediate return of all Undergraduate Students to Halls of Residence.
2. Proper and transparent account of the fees paid for the issuance of ID cards from 2015/2016 academic session till date.
3. Students must have the rights to use hotplates in the kicthenettes as provided for by the laws of the University.
4 That hotplates be allowed for use by students in kitchenettes only as stipulated in the Ethics Governing Halls of Residence and also in the Student Information Handbook, which is a subsidiary legislation made pursuant to the enabling statute – University of Ibadan Act, 1962. It is worthy of note that the use of hotplates borders directly on the survival of students on campus. A glimpse at the economic situation of the country reveals that prices of goods are inflated, yet the salaries (and pensions) of parents remain stagnant if not even withheld. The union strongly believes that kerosene stoves which is the inevitable alternative to hotplates is not only expensive, but equally unsafe to both users and the environment.

6. That a meeting of the Students’ Welfare Board, saddled with “the supervision of the welfare of students at the University” as stipulated by the Student Information Handbook (2014/2015 Academic session), should be convened within twenty­one (21) working days. It is disheartening that such a crucial organ of the University has not operated for too long a time, and the Union is of the view that the jurisdiction and balanced constitution of the board is of such a nature as to create lasting solutions to the sundry welfare-related plights of students.

7. That students be given Identity Cards on or before July 17 2017 as proposed by the university management. The issue of non-­delivery of Identity Cards is a breach of contract. Though the date of delivery was not stated in the contract, as stipulated in Section 29 of the Sale of Goods Act 1893, delivery must be within a “reasonable time”, and it is evident that reasonable time has elapsed. The management has, however, proposed mid-­July as the date of distribution (that is, they are amending the terms of the contract), so we humbly demand in acceptance of the amendment that Identity Cards be ready for collection by students on or before July 17.

8. That students should not in any way be victimized. In the last Students Disciplinary Committee verdicts, a lot of students were unjustly punished. In the case of allegations of sexual harassment made against some students, the police investigation exonerated those alleged students of the charges; nevertheless, the committee went ahead to find them guilty. Some students were also not given fair hearing. We therefore humbly demand that the Governing Council, sitting as the appellate tribunal over these matters, review these verdicts in the interest of justice.

9. That students be respected as partners in progress within the university community. We are not in a clash of ego or tussle for power with the management. We are simply asking to be carried along in the decision making process, especially as regards the welfare of students. The Student Information Handbook 2014/2015 session provides for 12 boards and committees which require student membership. These are the;

i. Student Welfare Board comprising 15 student members,

ii. University of Ibadan Press Council comprising 2 students,

iii. Catering Services Management board comprising 2 representatives of the Students’ Union,

iv. Library Committee comprising 2 students,

v. Students Disciplinary Committee comprising 2 students,

vi. Ceremonials committee comprising 4 students,

vii. Careers Board comprising 2 students,

viii. University Students Lodging Bureau (USLB) comprising 5 students,

ix. Sports Council comprising 4 students,

x. Building, Works, and Sites Committee comprising 2 students,

xi. University Bookshop (Nigeria) Limited Board of Directors comprising 2 students,

xii. Student­ Staff relationship which provides for the establishment in each faculty for the all ­purpose Staff/Student Liaison Committee “which would meet regularly to discuss issues as are brought before it by both staff and students.” It also provides for the setup of “an all-­purpose Staff/Student Liaison Committee similar to the Faculty Committee”.

No doubt, the student community, just as other stakeholders in the Ivory Tower, is intelligent, resourceful and has things to offer.

In conclusion, we humbly table these demands in the interest of all students and for the progress of the university community, and we enjoin the Senate to consider and accede to these demands.

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