By Foyin Ejilola
Akeju Olusegun, the Students’ Union President of the University of Ibadan has said that the Union does not have to lead the students to a physical protest before it shows that it fights vigorously on students’ behalf.
He said this during an interview session that aired on Agidigbo 88.7 FM on Saturday, 17th April.
Akeju explained that the SU has to follow procedures when trying to influence the University’s management to change a decision and the possibility of holding a physical protest can only occur if all diplomatic procedures fail to bring a positive change.
When he was asked about the steps that were taken by the Students’ Union for the reduction of the 2020/2021 session school fees, the SU President stated that the Union invited all the student-leaders in the University to a meeting, where the majority of them kicked against the increment.
“We asked the students to give their opinions and about 80% of them did not accept the increment,” Akeju said.
He also went on to say that the proposed protest against school fees increment was suspended because about 49% of the students that were present at the meeting decided against it. Therefore, the Students’ Union had to resort to reaching out to the university’s Governing Council and the Senate, but they could not influence any change because it had already been decided by the Senate.
Akeju added that if the Students’ Union had led a protest regarding the increment of school fees, the resumption would have been put on hold.
“If we were going to protest, the next step would be to put the resumption on hold. Students have stayed at home for more than ten months, now imagine us being the reason why they would be staying at home for a longer time,” the SU president said.
Akeju further reiterated that without any physical protest, the Students’ Union was able to get the University to extend the deadline for the registration of courses, which was formerly on 16th April, by two weeks. UCJ UI had reported that the registration of courses will come to a final close on April 30th.
Concerning the technology fee, the President cleared the air that the Students’ Union never agreed with the management on the increment or any amount whatsoever. He said the Senate had already approved that particular amount (N10000) as technology fee before the Union got to know. He explained that the SU has since then been trying their best to ease the burden of data on students due to the virtual class.
“The Union even contacted the ERT board on how to make life easy for students for the virtual system. In fact, from our end, we contacted some network providers on how to get subsidised data rates for students,” he said.
When he was asked if there is a way the Union could reach a consensus with the University’s management to see to the reduction of the professional levy for the Nursing and College of Medicine students, Akeju promised that the Union will do everything within its capacity to ensure that the professional levy for these students is reduced.
The SU president assured the University of Ibadan students that the Union will try its possible best to always take approaches that are best for the students.