The University of Ibadan has not had a Students’ Union since May 2017. The upcoming elections is being marked by heated tension on campus. In an interview with KOLAPO Ayobamidele of ABH Press Organization, an aspirant for the position of House Secretary, Mr. Oladeji Richard, states his plans for the Union and urges Brownites to vote for him.

ABHPO: Good afternoon Mr. Richard. Can we meet you?

Richard: My nomenclature is Oluwaseun Richard Oladeji. I am a student of Sociology Department, 200 level. I stay in Kuti Hall, Room C17. I’m currently vying for the position of House Secretary in the upcoming Students’ Union Elections.

ABHPO: Thank you Mr. Richard. So, you’re vying for the position of the Students’ Union House Secretary of the University of Ibadan. First of all, do you have any opponent?

Richard: Yes, I do

ABHPO: Ok. How many of them?

Richard: One

ABHPO: You have one opponent. How do you see your chances of winning?

Richard: With the look of things now, I think the tides are on my side

ABHPO: OK. So, what are your plans for the Students Union if elected as the House Secretary?

Richard: As we all know, the House Secretary is in charge of students’ welfarism. My main agenda is for students’ welfare. Every Uite should be considered first before anything. Basically, I’ll work on four agendas which are transport, health, funding and capital projects.
Under transport, my administration, together with other members of the executive, will try to plead to the school to see if we can extend the time the commuters in school close. On campus, the time the commuters close is 9 o’clock, and we have students coming in after 9 o’clock. To get a cab or tricycle from gate to any area of the school after 9 o’clock is impossible. You’ll have to trek. Also, the number of tricycles we have in school is very low. We will try, on behalf of the students, to plead with the school to bring in more tricycles so that transport will be convenient for our students. Also, in school, we have a lot of bus stops that are no more functioning. For example, we have the one in Idia. Before an Idiaite can go to Faculty of Education, she has to go to gate and then from gate to faculty of Education. For these car parks , we can bring cabs from gate that will have the Idia Car Park as their permanent base. So if you are an Idiaite and you want to go to any part of the school, you won’t need to first go to gate before going to your destination. Also, we’ll have cabs available at the car park in Queens.
On health; the modus operandi in Jaja, I can’t say it’s nothing to write home about but we’ll work with other executives to plead with the management if we can have more doctors around so that there’ll be increment in the number of students they attend to in a time (per time). Also, we’ll appeal to school management to provide equipment in Jaja and even in the ABH health centre which will facilitate more services being provided by these health centres. Also, on health, there’ll be a clean-up initiative, just like the one we have in ABH maybe once or twice in a semester. It will include washing of tanks, clearing of bushes and fumigation of halls of residence against reptiles, rodents and bedbugs, especially bedbugs. You know, students usually feel bedbug is a normal thing but it is not. We would even do the fumigation of halls of residence before students resume.
The third agenda I mentioned is funding, and this funding will be realized through a program called Alumni Homecoming/Luncheon, where we will invite alumni who have made it in different spheres of life. We will use the program to raise funds to do capital projects. We have the Zik river which has a wooden bridge. There is nothing bad with having a concrete bridge in place. We will als work hand-in-hand with faculties that provide tuition loans for students. Instead of four people from a faculty getting tuition loans, we can increase the number to five, six, ten, as the case may be. Also, on funding, we have entrepreneurs in school, and the backbone of every business is funding. My administration will try to seek for sponsorship from Bank of Industry, NGOs, government firms that provide grant for entrepreneurs. We will have a forum for all entrepreneurs in the school and whenever we have grants from any of these organizations, we have a plan on how to disburse to them. Also, under funding too, there will be a empowerment program where people will be taught soap making, perfume making, batik, adire, among others. This program will come up maybe once in a semester. Also, we will monitor the outcome of these programs. We will make stands available for sale of these products and mandate it for restaurant operators to buy products such as soap from these people.

ABHPO: I observed that you did not talk so much on your fourth agendum. You mentioned capital projects and the only example you gave was that of Zik River. Do you have any other one in mind?

Richard: As the House Secretary, basically, I am in charge of welfare of students. Also, on my capital projects, I will like to seek for sponsorship with other executives and make sure we have fire alarms in halls of residence. If you can remember the case of Awo Hall, during the fire outbreak, there were no fire alarms in the hall, or even fire extinguishers. They were just pouring water to quench the fire. So, under the capital projects, we will source for funds and make sure we have fire alarms in all halls of residence.

ABHPO: Mr. Richard, do you intend to put fire alarms or fire extinguishers in halls of residence? Can you be clear on that?

Richard: There is no point having fire alarms and not having fire extinguishers. We will put the two in all halls of residence. Both work hand in hand.

ABHPO: OK, that is good. Moving on, you came to ABH and approached members of ABH Press to grant you an interview. Is there a specific reason why you came to ABH, because ABH is usually not seen as a stronghold for political activities in the UI Students’ Union?

Richard: True, the number of accredited voters from ABH is not impressive. But you cannot remove ABH from UI and you cannot remove UI from ABH. So, I came to ABH to realize what people are facing in ABH, and that was how I found out about the Jaja Annex in ABH. So by coming down to ABH, I realized what people are facing.

ABHPO: That is very thoughtful of you, and we are grateful you came down to ABH. Lastly, is there anything you would like Brownites or the general public to know?

Richard: I would advise that Brownites who have been accredited to come out en masse and perform their constitutional duties. Whether you like it or not, whosoever gets elected would make decisions that would be binding on us all. And they should remember to vote for Oladeji Oluwaseum Richard for the position of House Secretary for the better welfarism of all UItes in general.

ABHPO: Thank you Mr. Richard. It was nice speaking with you.

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