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AGAINST UI @ 70: ALIEN ONLY TO ALIENS; OUR ‘INALIENABLES’ ALIENATED FROM US

-MI SPY

If people are informed they will do the right thing. It’s when they are not informed that they become hostages to prejudice. – Charlayne Hunter-Gault

The Kenneth Dike Library, central library of Unibadan has been observing a worthy recess (save for Post Graduate students) having survived a month invasion by the undergraduates in August. The Cinemas, Ventura especially has been the recipient of an influx of the first and the best students. The Cafeterias, which have become the resort of students who can’t afford to cook during exams have witnessed a decline in customers save for population shift and the patronization of aspiring Uites. The school area, hitherto sparsely populated is gradually becoming dense once again; it’s not the result of immigrants, but the return of its major occupants to their usual life – away from the Triangular Life of the Fellowship (even rare) to the Room (to sleep) tthe Library (or reading room).

In short, the musing thus far is not alien to any, but an alien of the University, oblivious of what it is like in the premier university to be a student. It is seasonal. Like the biblical aphorism: there is time and season for everything under heavens, the time to pick and the time to gather. In UI, the time to kill social life and the time to swim in them – when you live like tomorrow has no fun to offer. The failure to respect the time and season in UI will only yield two things. It’s either you suffer a setback or you progress. If you suffer a setback, there are two things involved. It’s either you suffer erosion or retained on trial, or tsunamized especially if you extremely disrespect and disregard it. If you progress, there are two things involved. It’s either you’re in the upper echelon or lower class. Make no mistakes, and don’t be deceived; the University of Ibadan is academic-wise stratified along those two classes, not helped especially with the always eagerly anticipated release of the Book of Life. Subjectively, the upper echelon, setting the records straight comprises of the First class and the Second class upper even though much reverence is always accorded the former(within the citadel), the latter is as well as excellent in the field and is accorded its respect beyond the citadel. The lower class however is that comprising the Second class lower and Pass (sarcasm, especially when they’re bottom of the ladder). Thus, the management of one’s academic activities, social life and religious commitment determines what class you are. This, once again, is no alien but only to aliens of Unibadan system.

The Crème de la Crème of the above exordium is that which again is not alien but only to aliens – exams are done with and academic activities have fully resumed. Even exam timetables are out already, for GES and some faculties – a statement of intent from the University that there’s no going back on the atrocious September 3 resumption date.

But then, even Jesus, deemed King of all kings paid his dues and charged that that which belongs to Caesar should be given to him. It is on the backdrop of this that we start out positively before delving into issues alien only to aliens and inalienable except as well to aliens.

Last semester, TSND began with the outcry of the need for us to live in comfort in our respective halls or residence. This was especially following the hike that greeted the beginning of the academic session. And thankfully, special gratitude selectively goes to those who have done the needful with notable and remarkable renovations seen in the halls of residence. Queen Idia Hall, Kenneth Mellanby, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Great Independence Hall to mention a few. For safely purposes, railings have been erected where they’re needed, new Water Closets can be seen in most halls. Even some now boasts of running showers, likewise bunks are provided in some halls.

As earlier muted, praises should always be showered on the deserving and eulogy be rained on a deserving king. Queen Idia Hall and Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall especially have been extraordinary and near – perfect. While all these are ongoing, it’s pertinent that we implore that it’s more of this that we seek. To be proud of the roof, under which the head is rested at the end of a long day – other notable but infinitesimal issues with regards to the hall should be keenly addressed. Bedbugs are still rampant everywhere for example; but then, we live it at that.

Secondly, in the last version and episode of TSND last semester, the issue of the trees along the road between Botany and Bello threatening to fall was brought to the public and it’s worthy of note and highly commendable that those very same trees have been attended too, and axed down. We believe it’s beyond coincidence and want to believe as well that we have those we can always run to and call upon when the need arises.

Other than that, there are other issues that were brought to the public notice last semester. The second publication featured the danger associated with the abundance of street poles but lack of street lights in them. This, has been stated as one of the notable causation for the accident that occurred last year (2017) involving the then House Secretary hopeful (Omonua Godsent), his Hall Mayor (Damzy) and one other who were hospitalized. Alongside Awo road, CMF all through, Tech road all through to Sub, both right and left as well the faculties around the place. More saddening is the suburb of Unibadan, with the Pepsi stand being the only source of light in the whole of SUB. The road between Microfinance and Jaja as well. It is of a fact that robberies especially in 2016 and early 2017 took place along Idia-Baptist en route Saint Anne’s hostel with the perpetrators often able to escape with the aid of the darkness.

Of course, there have been arguments surrounding the IGR and federal government allocation, but it is as well a known truth that since the poles already exist, the cost of erecting functioning bulbs won’t be one the University, a whole Unibadan should lament about.

In addendum, what was then a small issue has now risen to become a big one. And that is the case of the unwanted sewage made public in the suburb of the University community. Not only is the sight less appealing, the odour emanating from them, all things made just should be enough to make one’s nostril malfunction.

The critical ones are two. One, situated at the entrance of Lord Tedder hall. It is only aliens to Unibadan that wouldn’t know Lord Tedder hall, known not for its supremacy in oratory (still basking in the euphoria of back to back win) but for its attractive food, especially that of Klazz restaurant. As well, it is no alien to non-aliens that Tedder hall Cafeteria is the most visited. Hence, it goes on to say that for every patronizer of the reputed hall of residence, reputed for its food; there stands as an automatic gatekeeper, an abhorring site and a malodorous mismanaged sewage outlet bringing disrepute to that same hall of residence.

Besides the effect it has on the hall itself, it is absolutely demeaning for the premier university, the first and the best (only in Nigeria) harbors such health degrading sight without attending to it.

The second one is quite located opposite Botany department, beside Bello hall enroute Baluba Republic river. It was very little when attention was called to it. Now, it is no longer comfortable taking that route especially with the waste bins there (a better location be sought).

All things made equal, 80 – 90% residents of Zik hall, Indy Hall, Awo hall, Idia hall having functions at SUB, Chapel, Central Mosque; classes at Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Agric, Faculty of Education, Social Sciences, Law, Science all have to encounter this sight enroute their destinations. It is the same case with Tedder, not only is it bad for students, but damaging for the reputable name of the University as well.

Gearing towards 70 years of founding, some things are not expected to be associated with the citadel anymore. A 70 year old man in the Civil service is already at a retireable age, he has seen all and wouldn’t be expected to do things those approaching a jubilee would find abhorring.

Definitely, it can’t be said that the management is alien to these pertinent issues needing urgent attention. And it would be ridiculous as well to give to thought, the idea that UI is governed by aliens.

On a final note, it is expedient to as well bring to the fore as a reminder the poor state of our roads in the University community. This is especially the case with the ‘School Area’ where almost all the hitherto tarred roads have become a shadow of itself. The bad state of these roads are such that they are capable of causing accidents if not carefully threaded. A few among them include the road from Fishery between Jaja Avenue and Rasome Kuti Hall, the Mellanby to Tedder Hall road which are extremely bad for effective movement of vehicles and need urgent attentions ahead of the UI @70 inauguration program in November.

Thus, it is apropos in line with the above that this piece has been penned that approaching 70 years of existence; if just for its sake, what needs be, everything needing urgent attention should be made right earnestly. This is especially the case since we students are also not aliens to the fact we are partners in progress who make known to our ‘in loco parentis’ those things we feel is hampering our progress and defacing our image for necessary redress.

 

The TSND continues next week with my official declaration of intent for the post of Administrator General… whether I will, or not? Watch out!!!

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