Friday, 25 September 2015

ACJ & Students' Union Leadership Meet To Address Controversies

The executives of the Association of Campus Journalists (ACJ) and the Students' Union leadership of Obafemi Awolowo University have met and charted a way forward to ensuring a smooth and better working mechanisms between the two bodies.

The Students' Union team led by the President, Akande Omotayo received the executives of the campus journalists led by the ACJ President, Adebayo Benjamin at the Students' Union Building at about 7:30pm yesterday. The meeting which lasted about two hours addressed several controversies bordering on allegations and speculations from both quarters.

The Union president in his opening talk gave a prologue to the reason why the meeting was called which was for the members of ACJ to constantly, checkmate the Union and convey activities in a two-fold way: bringing the activities of the Union to the students and generating feedback. He emphasized the need for a good rapport with ACJ, not to compromise their stance whatsoever. He, however, maintained the need for a close rapport between the two agencies.

Issues addressed in the meeting range from the N1.8m phone call budget, scholarship scheme alleged discrepancy to perceived ACJ's anti-Union activities.

While the President, Omotayo Akande lamented the issue of media constraint, he complained how the media aspect of the union fumbled but every other thing pertaining to the union, functioning well in the right position.

He took time to justify his reasons for his own budget on phone calls, citing the fact that he had called past union leaders and verified from the records what past union leaders have used as their daily airtime recharge in their various tenures. He also admitted not having the right to decide for every union leader what must feature in their respective proposed budget while clearing the air that the budget was "proposed" and not yet ratified. He said the union run is fragile and promised to fix the issue.

The President stated that he presented this(Scholarship scheme) idea to every organization, personnel and cooperation they met but all their efforts resulted in disappointments. All this led to meeting Dr Fola Akinosun, a politician cum philanthropist who wanted some favors which were too extreme for the Union leaders to grant in exchange for the scholarship sponsorship. The CEC vehemently refused to do so, stating their position. Due to all the disappointments and Dr Fola Akinosun asking "too much favors" of wanting the details of students who failed P-UTME be redirected to Foreign Links for re-admission and Omotayo Akande's suspension; the CEC decided to pay for the 85 indigent students and helped over 20 students who couldn't afford the late registration N2,000 fee, register courses without paying the defaulting fine. He also said the Management supported the course and the recorded conversation at the Dr Fola Akinosun's residence didn't state any money was paid or collected.


The Union President, Omotayo Akande validated that a rape case was actually underground involving Dr Fola Akinosun's son and a fresh female student of OAU and that if money had been collected from Dr Fola Akinosun then they won't be able to accuse his son and moderate the rape incident.

The President revealed how controversial the case appeared since both individuals(boy and girl) knew each other very well.

"Even after spending two days with the guy that raped her, she took the 5 alive drink that was used to entertain her," the President concurred.

The President said that Dr Fola Akinosun didn't want his son paraded due to the cordial relationship with himself and the president but they agreed the case needed to be moderated properly without any form of victimization from any quarter. The Union President, fondly called TY, made bold the assertion that Dr Fola Akinosun was approached but he did not render any help whatsoever, he just promised to help which forced the CEC to swing into action. Hence, their reply to the ACJ's recent release which they ascribed much kudos to.

After speaking at length, explaining his actions, the Student Union President, Omotayo Akande gave  ACJOAU Executives a chance to react to the new insights to the revelations.

The ACJ President, in person of Adebayo Benjamin appreciated the gesture but he stood behind his fact, which all Executive members of the ACJ acceded to that the "Thank-You message" sent on the behalf of the Association to Dr Fola as appreciation with the response of "much thanks" is enough proof that the man sponsored the Scholarship scheme. Since no sane person receives glory for what isn't done. The ACJ President said he must have read the text before replying, since it was his direct contact. All these, the members of the ACJ Executive Council agreed to and expatiated further.

Room was also given for reactions from both sides and the ACJ Executives stood to their facts, words and objectivity which was well admired at the meeting. In concluding the section, Omole Isaac, ACJ's PRO made bold the assertion that "the onus of clarification lies on Dr. Fola Akinosun to clear the union of the allegations against them."

The SU President notified the ACJ of its condolence visit to the Awolowo family, to sympathize the death of the late Hannah Awolowo but later postponed the trip to the following week to aid adequate preparation and dissemination of the news to the right quarters. He told the ACJ to come with three representatives.

The SU President also notified the ACJ of its ambition to own a newspaper publication that will feature news editions every two weeks for the forthcoming semester.

The Union announced their collaboration with NIIT to provide ICT training at affordable rates to students with certificates available. The Union President, thereon explained that he was no fan of capital projects or structures, which he termed necessary but that he prefers developmental programmes with certification which are capable of  adding value to  Great Ife Students in order to  improve their lives. He cited that the NIIT training seminar  will take place in the coming semester, a program that is said to last for  3 weeks.

The Union president restated their commitment to the fee hike, making a recourse to their involvement in the last protest at the Osun State Capital. He also stated other ways that are being worked upon to revisit the hike and making the figures right.

The Union, under the aegis of the President, urged for a good working relationship between the SU and the ACJ. The President spoke on how both bodies could be synergised to achieve laudable dreams and initiative which met nodding approvals of all individuals present.

In attendance during the meeting are the presidents of the Students' Union and ACJ OAU, Akande Omotayo and Adebayo Benjamin respectively; the chief image maker of the Union, Ojedokun Emmanuel a.k.a Immanuel Kant; SU Sports Director, a.k.a Binzu, ACJ OAU Chairman Guild of Editors, Oyedeji Olanrewaju; ACJ OAU General Secretary, Olaoluwa Joseph, the Public Relations Officer of ACJ OAU, Omole Issac and a member of the SU Press Committee, Emmanuel.

The meeting ended at about 9:30pm.

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