The Vice Chancellor,
Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration,
Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics,
Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships,
Deputy Registrar (Students),
Dean of Students
Deputy Dean of Students,
All Principal Officers of the University present,
All Student Leaders and Great Students of University of Ibadan,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
The importance of the Students’ Union cannot be overemphasized. The University of Ibadan Students’ Union is not just a Union. It has in time past been a model Union to sister Unions in other Universities not just in Nigeria but also across the World. The historic influence of University of Ibadan Students’ Union towards the abrogation of the 1962 Anglo/Nigerian Defence Pact, the strong resistance and condemnation of the February 13, 1976 attempted coup amongst others, form a part of the numerous contributions of our dear Union to national and global developments.
Demographically, the youth represent the highest percentage of the population and as such any legal form of Union from them should always be allowed, for they should be major decision makers in our communities. The new administration of the Union will always project and resuscitate this pride. As our motto says, we are the “Father of Intellectual Unionism” and once more, we will exemplify this quality.
During the two years and seven months break that followed the suspension of the Union on 29th of May 2017, the representation of Students fell on some people’s shoulders.
On behalf of my newly elected Executive Members and Students generally, first we appreciate the Vice Chancellor and School Management bringing back the Union. Secondly, The Council of Faculty Presidents and Hall Chairpersons have been platforms for the representation of Students’ interest and as such we owe them a piece of our appreciation. With these coordinated efforts, we are not coming on board to meet a redundant Students’ Union but rather to synergise and continue the great strides they have made and are still making.
In this administration, our relationship with the management will be in two ways. One, Partnership and two, in loco parentis. It is trite that the students need the management and the management needs the students as well.
In peculiar situations where the management exercises full discretionary power, we humbly seek that decisions are made bearing in mind the in loco parentis role the management plays towards the students. We are not coming on board to be anti-management but to unequivocally represent the interest of the students and to represent every form of justice.
We will ensure that a peaceful and convenient atmosphere is maintained as our focus is to erect a lasting foundation for the Students’ union. Hence, we crave the support of the esteemed management and stakeholders in every aspect.
Right now, there is a need to awake students’ consciousness on Students’ Unionism.
The atmosphere is not encouraging. We, however, cannot walk the talk alone but we urge every student stakeholder to take active roles. We will be working a lot more with all Class Representatives for an impeccable grass root representation and other stakeholders for administrative convenience. We humbly look forward to your cooperation.
I understand that every member of the Executive council has made enormous campaign promises to students.
We are honourable fellows and as such all feasible plans will be harmonized and fulfilled. Activities will commence on our projects as soon as possible and we need students to be readily available in order to ensure the success of these plans.
We also seek the support of all Labour bodies and Unions on campus for a smooth administration.
There is a need to work together in order to achieve a successful UI. We will also like to ensure the students get adequate representation of their interests. Our offices are going to be opened to everyone and we urge you all to feel free always to walk up to us.
For a better UI and Nigeria at large, we implore the government to put more efforts in the development and increment of the falling standard of education in Nigeria.
The unemployment rate in the country is on the increase. To reassert the statement “first and the best”, we must set the pace in decreasing this high unemployment rate at least for our students. This administration will be focused on acquisition of skills that would adequately equip our students for the struggles of the labour market. This will produce employable UI graduates. To achieve this, we call on all well-meaning individuals and alumni of this great citadel of learning to offer their assistance in this regard.
In conclusion, as the Yoruba adage says “agbajo owo lafin soya, owokan o gberu dori”, we implore everyone to work with us towards achieving the goals of this administration. As the ideology behind integration movement implies, every Uite should have it at the back of his mind that UI SU belongs to him. I will end with the words of Helen Keller that “alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
God Bless University of Ibadan Students’ Union,
God Bless University of Ibadan,
God bless Oyo State
God bless Nigeria.