The activities of the Student Union in the University of Ilorin has been worthy of commendation, as there has been a reasonable level of development in the aspect of student welfare, security, protection of rights, production and distribution of souvenirs, and implementation of other student-oriented programmes across campuses in Nigeria.
…the erstwhile ‘Determination Unshakable’ administration like her sisters, ran a relatively opaque kind of administration…
Back here at home, the erstwhile ‘Determination Unshakable’ administration like her sisters, ran a relatively opaque kind of administration, until it left office last year.
For instance, in a critical issue such as finance, they left the students bereft, yet published aggressively other bits of information which included the most trifling news items. In a sudden twist of event, critical financial issues that could not be resolved behind backdoors are now being exposed in public.
For whatever intent or purpose it might be, sincere kudos should be given to the present Unilorin SU administration for at least, deeming it fit and proper to reveal the breaches in the souvenir contract executed by its predecessor; a disclosure that has opened a can of worms in recent times.
A past executive of the SU, Mr Afolayan Kazeem (Halogen) was the first to take a swipe at his former boss and colleague. He was quoted to have said, “Eminent, the immediate past SU president, is richer than the Student Union itself”.
“Eminent, the immediate past SU president, is richer than the Student Union itself”
Regardless of the audacious statement credited to Mr Afolayan Kazeem, we are unconcerned about the substance of the assertion. We are interested in knowing how much of tax-payers’ money could possibly have been siphoned through backdoor, undocumented deals. Maybe it is high time student leaders began to declare their asset!
It could be recalled sometimes last session when UCJ UNILORIN reminded the Eminent-led administration that an extant portion of the Student Union Constitution provides that the office of SU Financial Secretary should give monthly reports on its spending. Unsurprisingly, it replied calmly along this line: “…That part of the Constitution has been repealed.” This would otherwise mean, “you have no right to such information. So keep your mouth shut.”
…UCJ UNILORIN reminded the Eminent-led administration that an extant portion of the Student Union Constitution provides that the office of SU Financial Secretary should give monthly reports on its spending…
Incidentally, this same administration has found itself mired in an over 1.5-million-naira scandal, and everyone one of them wants the public to believe he or she knows nothing about it. Probably some ghostly hands, and legs, had manipulated the figures on their behalf. Only time will surely tell.
On the fact-finding process our correspondents conducted by way of interviewing members of the immediate past Central Executive Council, we understand that the contractor didn’t present an official proposal to the Student Union. In other words, he got the huge contract on a platter of gold.
This leaves us with a question: How did the contractor get into the picture?
Upon ‘delivering’ the ‘project’, the Financial Secretary was said to have paid the contractor a complete payment of 2.1 million naira for 15,000 souvenirs, whereas, in actual fact, less than a half was delivered.
- …the Financial Secretary was said to have paid the contractor a complete payment of 2.1 million naira for 15,000 souvenirs, whereas, in actual fact, less than a half was delivered.
Mr. Halogen, the former Welfare Secretary, confirmed that the contractor delivered the souvenirs. Nonetheless, he alleged that an overriding order demanded of him not to ascertain the copies delivered. Another question: Can Mr. Halogen bring forth any evidence to substantiate his claim?
Next question, why wasn’t he suspicious of the president’s order of not counting the souvenir and probably disclosed it at a previous CEC meeting?
Still on the question, did members of the 2016/2017 Senate Council deliberately decide to go sleep in order for the ‘ghost’ culprit to rip the students of their money by not delivering the agreed quantity of souvenirs? If Halogen was allegedly instructed not to count the souvenirs, don’t they (the SU Senate Council) have a duty to crosscheck in order to know if the delivery was truly in sync with the agreed contractual terms?
In the light of these, we believe the student populace deserve a detailed explanation of the above, with a copy of the agreement and the payment, if any. The issue should not be swept under the carpet. As such, we propose that executives in every administration declares his/her assets, and the legislature should perform its duties conscientiously in order to stem this ugly tide in future.
The copyright of this article belongs to the Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ilorin. This publication is a positional statement of the Union.