Adedimeji Quayyim, Adepoju Samuel Oluwatimileyin and Ajao Ifeoluwa-Grace
The Public Relations Officer of the Students’ Union, Mr. Olabode Stephen (O’Smart) had stated that although the SU Press Conference 2021, tagged “The Nexus” was a success, the conference could not fulfill all that it was scheduled to achieve.
In an interview with the UCJ UNILORIN, Mr. Olabode stated that the program was planned to be “an interconnection between the management, union officials and all unilorites”, which was not fully achieved due to the disruption of plans scheduled for the conference.
He also mentioned to the Press that the event, despite being a laudable initiative, had no significant presence of press bodies, ironic for an event tagged as a Press Conference. He also stated that members of the Central Executive Council did not have ample time to state their plans for the Union, which was one of the major items of the event.
Mr. Olabode (O’Smart) blamed this on the last-minute change of venue from the University Auditorium to the Multi-purpose Hall, which rendered many students unable to attend, sit or contribute to the press. He also apologized for errors in correspondences and letters transmitted to press bodies, which did not state the time of the conference and the roles to be played by the press organizations at the conference. He blamed the errors in letters on the Secretariat of the SU, a fault that the General Secretary and Head of Secretariat, Mr. Adeleye Isaac Adewale (Mr. Excellent) reluctantly agreed to.
He stipulated that the budget for the SU Press Conference is capped by the Senate Council at One Hundred and Ninety Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty Naira (#190, 150), a figure confirmed by the Senate Council of the SU, with a budgetary allocation of Fifteen Thousand Naira (#15,000) for press bodies (an amount said to be “logistics fees” by the SU PRO). He stated that the money is yet to be disbursed, raising questions on accountability of funds of the union disbursed after their intended events and eyebrows at possible hints on embezzlement of funds.
Questions on a monthly bulletin, upgrade of the SU website, media teams, and matters of public importance, which were all promised by Mr. Olabode in his manifesto, were posed by the UCJ UNILORIN. Mr. Olabode stated that these projects are being hindered by the Senate Council, since they are yet to be approved, and promised to ensure these projects would be brought to fruition.
Mr. O’Smart stated that the Central Executive Council is yet to access the Union’s account and that Union would respond appropriately to the #JusticeForBlessing situation through public orientation programs as approved by the Senate Council. He later also raises concerns on the late approaches of the Students Union to matters of public importance, especially when they require urgency.
In a separate interview session with the General Secretary and Head of Secretariat, Mr. Adeleye Isaac Adewale (Mr. Excellent), he reluctantly confirmed the errors in letters and apologized for the same. He also unconvincingly tried to justify the fact that the SU Press Conference 2021 is the first of its kind, a statement rebutted by the fact that the SU Press Conference since the Idris Alao (Observation) administration in 2015. This raises concerns about the competence, efficiency, and accuracy of the SU Secretariat.
The SU Press Conference 2021, regarded as the first event of the Taofik Waliu’s (Omoluabi) People Focused administration, was held on the 7th of July, 2021 at the University Multi-Purpose Hall. It was an event from the office of the Public Relations Officer of the Students’ Union, to facilitate appropriate channels for accountability and feedback of the Students’ Union.