By Kareem Shamsudeen and Toyinbo Olumide
The Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ibadan Alumni Reunion which held on the 6th July, 2019 was said by the Pioneer President of the Union in 1986 – Dr. Bayo Ajala to be the first Alumni Reunion which the alumni themselves agreed on and organised.
The event which started few minutes after 12pm at the Cooperative Hall was witnessed by many noble alumni of the Union of diverse generations who have made it greatly in their various careers.
The event started with proper introduction by all attendees and followed with the welcome address by Dr. Bayo Ajala. The first President, while delivering his welcome address expressed his joy for the long-standing dream coming to full reality. With great joy, he recounted how the Union of Campus Journalists started in UI Campus. “UCJ was a dream of young boys. UCJ started in my room because it was just about five or six of us. You can start something and it can be bigger than your imagination”. He further admonished pressmen to be diligent in their journalistic duties.
Speaking on importance of UCJ, he said “UCJ cuts across every course”. During the end of his welcome address, he gave the following proposals: that there should be an annual public lecture, there must be capacity building, there must be value orientation, and the new UCJ members should change the narrative on campus.
During the session when the UCJ alumni were asked to give the memories of their good old days, Barrister Olaniyan (Othello) emphasized on the need of history. In his words, “we must not lose our sense of history”. Also, Dr Yinka Egbokhare while recounting her memories discussed on the use of pen name. She told the audience about a guy that used the pen name of a lady to ventilate female issues. “Pen name allows you to hide. I will start writing with a pen name but I won’t say it here”, she stated. Virtually, every alumni has one or two things to say about their writing careers on campus.
The re-union also featured the incumbent president of the UCJUI, Mr Martins Isaac who gave a state of the union. In his short speech, he talked about the financial problems the union faces. He however solicited the assistance of the UCJ alumni for the proper funding of the union. In his words, “we really need help from the alumni. A union of 32years should not be having huge financial issues.” In consideration to the appeal made by Mr Martins Isaac, there were series of donations to the union by the alumni.
Mr Michael Olatunbosun, the moderator of the event, while commending the roles of journalists on campus, he said that campus journalists should keep speaking the truth. “If you are speaking the truth, by all means continue to do so because you are the healer of the truth”, he stated.
However, Mr Kunle Shittu who had said that there would be a lot of motivation if you give award based on merit during the interactive session was given an award for his meritorious service towards the growth of the union, presented by the 31st UCJUI President, Mr John Akinteye.
As a way to spread the tentacles of the UCJUI Alumni and also to strengthen the activities of the UCJ, a National Committee for UCJUI Alumni was inaugurated. History has repeated itself as the first President of the Union was announced the first National President of the Alumni body of the Union, in person of Dr. Bayo Ajala who promised that the committee would do their best to ensure that their tenure is a good one.
Others include Mr Yinka Ademuyiwa as Deputy National Chairman, Mr Henry Oripeloye as Vice Chairman 1, Mr Kunle Shittu as
Vice Chairman 2, DSF Salau as
National Secretary, Miss Tosin Oyebode as the Assistant National Secretary, Dr. Yinka Egbokhare as National Treasurer, Mr. Oladipupo Abraham as the Assistant National Treasurer. The PRO was announced to be ONJ and he will be deputised by Mrs Bunmi Ishola, Mr Samuel Arowosafe as Financial Secretary, Miss Tawakalit Kareem as Assistant Financial Secretary, Mr Tobi Austin as the National Social and Welfare Secretary, to be assisted by Miss Moreen Ogunade.
The Immediate past VP Administration of the Union, Miss Rabiat Ogeroju will be serving as the UCJ Alumni Liason. Barrister Olaniyan was inaugurated as the National Legal Adviser, to be assisted Mr. Malik.
The Ex Officio include: Prof Tayo Lamidi, Prof Babs Sheriff, Mr Laolu Akande, Mr Tunji Oladejo, Mr Lanre Oladele, Mr Michael Olatunbosun and Mr Bakare Nurudeen.
The vote of thanks was taken by Barrister Olaniyan who during the session opined that “this is the greatest UCJUI Alumni get together”. The evergreen event ended with the goodwill message by Dr Yinka Egbokhare.