The Students’ Union president of the university of Ilorin, Comrade Okoko Wisdom aka Passion, yesterday, said the union was exploring other avenues to bring an end to the issues of transportation hitch in the school.
He stated this in an aside interview session in his office with the Press Council members of the Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ) who had been there on a courtesy visit to the executive arm of the Students’ Union.
According to him, the need to look into consideration of alternative means of conveying students to and fro the school become necessary owing to the lack of understanding that is currently the situation between the existing shuttle drivers in the school, popularly known as Korope, and the Students’ Union; especially on the arbitrary implementation of ingratiated increment of the transportation fare by the shuttle drivers.
“We have drafted proposals to companies to come around. We have given them our proposals, and the responses we are getting so far have been kind of positive. So what we are trying to do with the Korope people was to buy time, pending when those already consulted will be set to come down.”, He said.
Recounting the genesis of the issue with the shuttle drivers, Comrade Passion explained that the students Union had been in talk with the organised transport workers even before the students’ resumption to the school and the union had maintained that the increment should not be effective until the both parties come to terms of agreement and implementation.
“We have had meetings even before now where we told them of our stands still remains fifty naira. They disagreed saying they had brought 50 more Korope and the Korope that they were selling for 750,000 has now gone up to about 1.5million.
“When they raised these issues, we maintain that we cannot go back to our students and tell them there’s an increment in the transportation fare. Then they said that whatever they were going to do was in their mind.
“In the midst of this, that was when they started the boycott. We all experienced the situation today.
“As an administration that is concerned about the welfarism of the students, we saw the situation the students were in, and we needed to move them out of that place. A lot of them said they had 8am lectures, we needed them to just go. For this, we told to just proceed with 50 naira, then they can implement the increment. And that how it was in the morning. And in the afternoon, they said 60naira.
And thank God the Vice Chancellor came around that time.
“VC was around and he saw the situation and his reaction suggested he was not happy with the way things are.”, He further recounted.
When asked about the progress report of the Union’s effort to avoid the situation deteriorating, Comrade Passion said: “We are union of peace; we approach matters diplomatically. We dialogue to resolve issues.
“As it stands now, we have plan to see with their EXCOS and agreed with them, however request for a compromise. We hope to tell them that since we have shifted ground, so they, too, should shift ground, so we can maintain what we have on ground now pending the time when other alternative will come in.
“We are shifting ground that after Sanrab is N60, and to Oke-Odo and Sanrab should be N50. So we want to establish this fact with them; we want the leaders to tell the union that this is our stance.
“We feel that the leaders have not told their drivers. What their drivers taking up and down as information is that N60 is for any drop. We feel they don’t have information. And we don’t want to ferment any trouble by going to Oke-Odo to tell people not to enter if it goes beyond N50. We are peace loving people.
“So that’s the state of things for now.”, He said.
In the university of Ilorin, the issue of transportation of students has become perennial that all the past administrations of the University’s Students’ Union had at one point or the other explored ways to ameliorate the severity of effect the issue usually brings on the student populace.
While the stakeholders in the transportation of the students — in and out of the university’s campus — that is the Students’ Union and the organised campus shuttle drivers, have always maintained their stances, the university’s students populace have always experienced similar hurdles getting themselves in or out of the school.
UCJ-UNILORIN had reported the effects the boycott by the shuttle drivers on Monday had on the students. Read here