Education

UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN: BEYOND THEIR REACH

By: Shehu Bashir Esq

This piece is a rejoinder to the reply given by the University Authority as signed by one “SubDean – SAU” in their response to my initial article title: UNILORIN VC AND HIS WAR AGAINST INTEGRITY.

In this episode, it will be necessary for me to repeatedly mention my name in-between this piece so as to let the confused respondents know the true author of this and the previous one and so as not to confuse those who have lost the compass of direction to their father’s house to think everyone is a vagabond like them.

My name is Shehu Bashir, the son of Alhaji Alkali Bashir Yusuf, a true son of the soil with a traceable family compound in Oke-Ogun Ward, Banni-Ekun Compound, Isale-Ajanaku Area, Balogun-Fulani District, Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara, a distinguished Alumnus of the Better By Far University of Ilorin and I am not a Third Class product.

This brief but proper introduction given above is mandatory for my identity was called to question. Before any strayed stranger will describe the way to my father’s house for me, it is better for me tell them they lack the historical and intellectual qualification to stand amongst the giants.

I would not have reacted to their jaundiced rejoinder for it is not coming from a competent hand who is supposed to be the official mouth piece of the University, nor did it address the issues raised, but for the fact that a “dwarfistic” attempt is made at calling to question the integrity of the author, veiling insinuation of pecuniary influence as motivation for the author to stand in defence of justice, equity and fairness. Notwithstanding the incoherent and unconvincing defence of the indefensible as scattered in their semi-detached write-up, it behoves on me as a true son of the soil to give back to the University from the abundance of wealth of knowledge they have impacted in me by raising my voice against the impunity of the current administrators who have suddenly lost their sense of history, morality and rectitude.

The essence of Soc 101 would have been lost in me if I allow this nitwit to appear witty.

University of Ilorin is a House I have helped to build with passion, commitment and competency. In my own right, without being haughty about it, I’m a critical stakeholder. I will therefore not allow the nonchalance and incompetency of one transient manger to destroy that which we laboured for.

As a former Students’ Union President of the prestigious ILORIN EMIRATE STUDENTS’ UNION, University of Ilorin Chapter, 98/99 Session, the Motto of which is “FOR THE LOVE OF OUR PEOPLE”, I have an inexhaustible and inalienable commitment to stand up against injustice anywhere one is noticed and reported, done and executed against anyone with that connect. If only they could go back to history and inquire about Shehu Bashir, which I know they should know, they would probably realise that the spirit and temerity to stand for what is right is not as cheap as the allowances they receive as perks to subvert justice and lose focus of sincerity and integrity.

University of Ilorin was built by its forefathers to live above board and set good examples for others, even in its turbulence times. The previous managers have not lost focus of the true vision and mission of the University and this is why today, to be modest, the University’s name would be mentioned at par, if not above, with the likes of University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University.

The current administration of the University is barely one year old in office and the System is already walking on its head. It is worrisome that rather than do things accordingly and build on the legacies of Oyinloyes, Abdulraheems and Oloyedes, the VC’s agenda is a petty drive of ethnocentrism with a projectile weapon against the host community and ironically the abode of plenty he has been feeding from all his life.

The current mismanagement and it’s attendant results could not have come as a surprise because the VC leaving garage for garbage on a mission of sectional isolation. “fi ete le onpa lapa lapa”.

The University is supposed to be managed at all times by people of class, who would not severally or jointly attempt to turn everyone to their likes or wave standard because they are inherently lacking in one.

It is an irony and of course you cannot get anything better when a third class grade level relationship officer is allowed to nurture and manage first class students, the result of what you get is substandard administration, bias and compromises.

Merit wasn’t meant to be deliberately compromised when concessions were given to these mediocrities now allowed in the higher stable of academia, they were meant to mend background collapses in their intellectual earthquake. Alas, they are now paying with bitterness. It does always show in result when sentiments is place above merit.

We didn’t build and leave a University where third class lecturers will be tutoring first class materials, we didn’t build and leave a University where the ego of the VC is placed above the collective reasoning of all and sundry, we didn’t build a University where a VC would venture on a mission to segregate and discriminate against any members of the University Community on the basis of their ethnic identity and most importantly, we didn’t build and leave a University for a VC who would usurp the powers of the Council and call for Council meeting with text messages, something only the University Registrar is legally allowed to do and through a memo circulation.

If any opportunist’s best manner of service delivery is through sycophancy, we would not hesitate to lecture them on the art of dignity they lack and the honour of service they should imbibe in discharge of their duties. Ours is pro bono not financially induced.

The strange but interesting thing about the latest antagonists of ILORIN interests is that so many times, many of them have been saved from human degradation and eternal psychopathic disorder but many times they have bitten the fingers that lifted them. Ilorin has always been unlucky to be stabbed in the back by the victim they save from erosion.

What is most disheartening is that one who was picked from refuse dump, bathed to life, given good education, made to attend the best schools then, including the almighty GSS, nurtured to maturity by a family that were merely showing pity to an abandoned child would grow up to face and attempt to denigrate that same family that gave him every care his biological family were unable to give.

Much can even be said on lieutenants and crumbs pickers because their history is even millennium compliant. Youtube viewing addiction might have taken over their etiquette, courtesy and sense of remembrance, but we would not shy away from refering them to their anolgue days when they had to import their parents to prostrate repeatedly to thank that Enigma that breathed lives into their dead academic, moral, social, psychological and financial souls.

Have they suddenly forgotten that Prof. Abdulraheem who single handedly, against all odd, employed the current VC, saving him from the jaws of abject poverty is an Ilorin man? Is there anyone among these hypocrites today who would have been where they are if an Ilorin man like Oba Abu has not given them succour in employment and hope in education? What is now your problems about an Ilorin. What is this hatred about for Allah’s sake?

Kindness is godliness and we as a People will not discontinue such gestures even if some ungrateful beneficiaries chose to tell us how “local” we are as a Community.

Notwithstanding how they see us, we would not fail to remind them how we saved them from filing station brawl over argument on a litre of fuel price argument and how we rehabilitated them to decency. Posterity will judge all their forms of ingratitude.

Ilorin is not demanding for anything from these ungrateful elements more than just RESPECT. Respect our identity with dignity and value our integrity with decorum. Are we asking for too much?

Injustice to one is injustice to all. The decision to take up this fight and on a solo level is not borne out of any ethnocentric innate drive as one misdirected mind would misapply, but to stand up to misnormal even when majority of those who should speak up are either afraid of losing what they currently eat from their benefactor’s pot or concerned they may not get what they may ask for later. It’s a matter of principle.

I’m not on the payroll of anybody and no sum worth in trillion dollars can buy the unshakable integrity of Shehu Bashir, Dan Alali Ilorin man.

To educate some ignorance, Dr. J.O. Fayeye is an Igbona man whom I have known and respected (and still respect) for years since my undergraduate level as a student in Sociology Department. He is a fantastic, detribalised man I will forever wish well in all his endeavours. There is no doubt he was served with a tea cup of injustice until his recent exit from the University. I couldn’t have kept silent in such circumstances when the career of an innocent man was on the verge of cliff fall. This man didn’t get the support he needed (from the so-called Igbona defenders) till he was forced out. Where lies your conscience?

This is about the time when those of you who now find your voices in defence of your “ethinic opportunism” and celebrating “point and kill fish pepper soup” appointments should search your basic existence essence. Shame on all of you, this is a transition and will not be in eternity.

Some people seem to be on a repeated voyage of alienation of the Community the University is located in, when her indigenes are not seen to be dignifying enough to take up top most positions; some shunters who were helped to journey here are on the path of segragating Ilorin and everything therefrom, when Medicine, Engineering and other so-called top courses in the Universe are reserved for “special people” as though an Ilorin man is not in high intelligence to be offered these courses. The same satanic covert application is being done against an Ilorin man in the issue at hand. Are you still in doubt that possession of intelligence is not tribe-based?

Shehu Bashir is neither an activist nor a soldier of all wars, but he would stand up to his conscience when circumstances call even if I am standing alone. We have a history of doing this unconditionally and we will not stop doing that.

I would not have had any cause to reply their facade rejoinder but for the fact that the writer is being smart by half and trying to hide under one finger, we should not celebrate their mediocrity.

While they quoted Parts, Sections and Sub-sections, refering us to the laid down process of advertisement and procurement of form manner, they fail to address the main issue and supply us with reference – if truly the candidate in question, Animashahun, has below the 60% CGPA Threshold or not.

They also failed to tell us when was the students’ compendium amended, if the amendment included the reduction of the CGPA and if that amendment was hurriedly done to accommodate the annointed candidate?.

A lie told will be covered with more lies and more lies until the waters of these lies flood the house of the teller. Blackmailing is the cheapest tool for people barren of intellectual acumen to address issues on points.

The insinuation that my initial write up was an attempt by the writer to use the Students’ Union apparatus for 2019 general election is the dumbest accusation I have ever read from a supposed academia. No wonder they say one cannot give what they do not have.

Gone were those days when Students’ Union bodies were enterprises and ‘aluta’ for sale bodies, where a President of the Students’ Union would be rented by opposition party to go shout at a seating governor and appear like a hero. There is no such Union Representatives anymore and the current crops of students don’t share money from coca cola crisis anymore. I can confirm that.

It is therefore a sad thing for the managers of these students to think so low of their subjects as though Students’ Unionism is for sale and the President must be the highest paid. This sounds like a speech from a personal experience.

Ours is a genuine complaints devoid of sentiments, manipulative agenda, hidden or open. It is a genuine call for standard and standardisation of procedures. What is good for the geese should be good for the gander.

I repeat, Unilorin is beyond your reach and thousands of you cannot change what has been endowed in that citadel, you can only try but cannot successfully destroy the legacies, you can only fight but cannot win the war against discipline, you can only stay in that position but cannot forever remain in there, you can only wish but cannot uproot the blocks and bricks of the structures and move them to your villages, you can only try but cannot undo the glory of that University and lastly, you can only try but cannot successfully replace justice with injustice.

It is imperative to educate Mr. Vice-Chancellor and his sycophantic appointees/team members on the need to learn to understand the task ahead of them, go for Human Resources Management Training and Administrative Strategy induction for you are lacking in one, then you would know better that people of different backgrounds are assets and should be treated as one and not subjected to division, discrimination and bias.

We are true sons of the soil and we would not allow this town to be torn apart. Onilu onife kotu. Iran ajeji ni tele bashubashu, jeje lomo Oko nlo.

I promise, I shall be ready to respond to further rejoinder(s) as they may come from you.

I am Better By Far

Shehu writes from Abuja.

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