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Evolution of Ibadan Poly Students’ Forum, contributions and challenges.

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OLANREWAJU Olasunkanmi, an HND ll student of the department of Purchasing and Supply is the eighteenth and present chairman of an anti-cultism organization dubbed ‘The Polytechnic Ibadan Students’ Forum’. In this interview with Idowu Ayodele, he explained what the students’ forum stands for, its activities and challenges. Excerpts:

 

 

What can you tell us about the Students’ Forum?

Thank you. The evolution of the Students’ Forum, the Polytechnic, Ibadan is essentially characterized by unlawful activities in the institution community and it’s environs in the late 1990s such as student/staff unrest, armed robbery, raping, killing of innocent students and extortions among others. Particularly the ugly incident of cultism which claimed several lives.

However, the situation inspired peace loving students of the citadel of learning, the Polytechnic Ibadan in 1997 with the aim of investigating the remote causes of these problems and to find both short term and long term solutions to them.

After rigorous investigations, meetings with all relevant stakeholders including the students, management and community members. Subsequently, some students on their own volition decided to sacrifice with a view to restore and maintain peace both within the campus and Poly community, discourage cultism, orientate and educate,as well as providing urgent and security information to the management and some other units.

Who are those eligible to be a member of the students’ forum?

Any bonafide, unquestionable character, non cultist students of the institution who shows his or her interest by obtaining the organisation form is a potential member.

In what way (s) has the students’ forum impacted the Polytechnic, Ibadan community and by extension, Oyo state?

During years of black out in the late 90s, the student’s forum was the only group that shouldered the struggle of restoring back the power . The forum has also recorded many achievements, they include drafting of electricity proposal submitted to the then Oyo state government under the administration of Alhaji Onaolapo Lam Adesina through the state rural electrification board.

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The second one is security: Because of our zero tolerance against crime. We agitated for police post in Apete community which has now transformed to a full divisional police station.

Can you tell us in a specific term how your forum was able to maintain peace on campus?

Because peace is part of our motto, so we have been ensuring that the students and management enjoy peace on campus, we can emphatically say, that the peace being enjoyed on the campus today is as a result of our efforts, and this was also attested to by the former rector of the school in person of Dr.Jacob Ademola Adejumobi in a book written and published by him which he titled “My years in the Polytechnic”, where he explained in details, our efforts and struggles in the area of security of the school and its environs.

We also arrange periodic meeting with the institution management and host communities with the aim of forming a sound healthy relationship in the institution.

We relate with the security unit and other law enforcement agencies in the state on Issues relating to students and how best to maintain peace on campus.

We also stands as intermediary between the host communities and the students and the management,especially issues of rent between landlords and our students. Making peace among students having any issues between themselves in the institution and in the community.

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So, how do you handle erring member who disobey the rules?

We have our own rules and regulations. Is either we let such person to face the SDC or take him to the security post.

SDC?

That is the Student’s Disciplinary Committee saddled with the responsibility of checking erring students and their activities. Or we suspend them from our organisation if the offense is not that serious.

Despite all these efforts, do you receive any compensation from the school management or you have sponsors that are assisting your forum?

That is the major problem the Student’s Forum is having presently, which is finance.

The organisation runs it programme mainly on little contributions from its members, donations from past members and responsible members of the society.

Due to our day to day running of the organisation and our yearly programme, the token is not enough for the running of the forum. However, we appreciate the management and we still need more of their support.

Another problem is the lack of understanding of what forum is all about. Some student members and staffs did not know what we stands for. This is another area of support we will need from the management of the institution.

We need management support on how best we can sensitize our students, maybe through lectures, especially during orientation programmes for fresher’s, we would be glad if the Student affairs unit can make it compulsory for all departments to allow us deliver lectures during their orientation programmes.

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And we even need the help of the government of Oyo state, because we also work in extension with the outside community.

So, what kind of assistance are you expecting from the state government and the management?

Finance is the most important thing that we need to carry out our daily operations, because we can’t provide assistance to the students or resolve any issue and ask for money no matter the logistics involved, we also need a Secretariat inside the campus, to keep our documents and perform more effectively on campus. We need the support of Oyo state government in the area of backing and supporting us against cultist threats for our members. Because some of these cultists too are being used by some unscrupulous elements in the society.

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Interviews

‘In today’s Christianity, we are religious, not spiritual’

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Prophet Olumayowa Ayobami Gbadero is the visionary of the Sanctuary of God for Salvation and Fruitfulness Ministries. In this interview with OLAIDE SOKOYA, he speaks on passion for the liberation of the country and his vision for Christianity in the country.

 

What is your take on the many challenges facing the country?

Going by the many challenges in the country and concurrent calamities in the society, no one can claim he or she is satisfied. I think the main issue is the problem of leadership; our leadership system is bad. Many that are in the leadership position of the country don’t have the mind of God. They are not doing things as if they will give account to God. They would say different things when they were aspiring for positions and act differently when they are in power and this has caused a serious problem, especially for the younger generation.

 

What can the church do to make things right in the country?

Recently, I was on my social media handle to charge all church leaders to act like the bold prophets in the Bible, prophets including Nathan and Joshua, among others, who didn’t talk to individuals excepts the government and leaders. So, I am also using this medium to once again call on all ministers of God to say the heart of God to our leaders and everyone holding sensitive positions in the country. It is important clerics speak the truth and stay by it irrespective of what it may cost. What the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, did and stood for in his days is still a reference point today. This is our main responsibility and God will be delighted and have mercy on the nation if truth is yielded to.

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With your experience in the vineyard, how would you assess Christianity in the country?

In today’s Christianity, we are religious and not spiritual. There is a difference between spirituality and religiosity. Many people now pretend to be genuine Christians so as to appear so to others and even their pastors. They go to church and do all sorts in the church premises as camouflage, but deep down, they know they are not for Christ. They only go to church as a cover up. Some now even pray without any purpose because they see people pray and prayer is not just said by what you feel. When you are spiritual, the Holy Spirit will give you a hint on how to make prayers that would be answered.

 

Why did you choose to be a pastor?

I didn’t pick this as a profession, God called me and the call has been on before my birth. My late grandfather was a man of God. He was the first seer of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Murtala, Ilorin, Kwara State. I learnt that my grandfather prophesied that one of his grandchildren would take after him. The same revelation came forth to my parent when I was born. I grew up loving to be in the house of God and I joined virtually all the societies in our church. Then I did not know I was going to be called. It was after my graduation at The Polytechnic Ibadan where I studied Public Administration that God told me I had left what I was supposed to do. Many men of God I came across, including Prophet Timothy Obadare, confirmed and urged me to heed the call. I eventually heeded the call and the experience has been awesome.

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The country will clock 59 in a few days.What message do you have for Nigerians?

It is only about giving a message of hope to Nigerians I have taken up the responsibility to intercede for the country and citizens. The programme, which has become an annual event tagged: “Bethel Encounter 2019,” has a lot to do with our Independence Day. This is where we seek the face of God on behalf of the country. God told me that I should do  exactly what Jacob did that changed his name to Israel on Nigeria’s Independence Day. I am confident Nigeria and the citizens will have a new experience as a result of this year’s programme, which will hold on September 30 to the dawn of October 1. Nigeria is in the hands of both leaders and citizens, so, we cannot afford to fold our arms without making efforts to liberate the nation.

 

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Interviews

Uses WhatsApp the most, has eight hours of sleep… here’s how Barkindo spends his time off

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Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), says WhatsApp is the most used mobile application on his phone.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua, Barkindo also said he is an evening person.

Here’s how OPEC’s secretary-general who recently began his second term in office spends time away from the work.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Normally between seven and eight.

What time do you set your alarm to wake up?

For 6 a.m. to pray al-Fajr.

Are you a morning or evening person?

Evening.

Do you have an essential morning ritual?

My prayers. And a glass of water.

What’s your typical workout?

It is more a mental workout for me.

What’s your favourite sport or sports team?

Football. The Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles.

Which app is in heavy rotation on your phone?

WhatsApp.

What’s your go-to lunch spot?

Le Couscous in Vienna.

Who is your favourite author?

I have always loved reading Shakespeare. And the great poet and scholar Rumi.

What’s your favourite place to go on vacation?

It has to be returning to my home city of Yola. It’s where I can see family, relax, recharge, and reconnect with my roots.

What living or historical person do you truly admire?

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Dr Rilwanu Lukman, the former OPEC secretary-general. The most decent person I have ever met.

If you had to take a year off, what would you do?

I think I would go back to university. To research and write.

What is your biggest fear?

The breakdown of international institutions and the global order.

If you were 20, what business would you get into?

It would be the oil and gas sector, with a focus on technologies that can help reduce emissions.

Do you ever expect to retire?

Yes, but to return to academia.

 

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Interviews

SGB Rejuvenates Education In Oyo State, Says Bamgbose

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Reverend Muyiwa Bamgbose, an educationist, and the Proprietor, Education Advancement Centre (EAC), Ibadan was a member of Education Committee set up by Oyo state government under the leadership of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

In this interview, he told the story of the School Governing Board (SGB) , how it was birthed and successes recorded

Excerpts: 

As an Educationist and one time member of Education Reform Committee set up by Oyo State Government, how will you tell the story of School Governing Board (SGB)?

The story of Oyo State School Governing Board is the story of the birthing of a renaissance! It is a story of turning disadvantage to advantage through resourcefulness. Where there is is a will, there is always a way!

I had the privilege of serving on the committee that birthed the concept and can talk about the feeling of fulfilment that comes with achieving purpose. Everywhere I have had the opportunity of interacting with representatives of the SGB, the feedback has been exciting.

Before the advent of the SGB, the public education system was plagued with decay and lopsided distribution of resources die to the fact there was ‘no ownership’ of the provided resources. We went round this state and saw unbelievable deplorable situations. What was more pathetic was the attitude of the people and students themselves. Everyone looked up to government for provision, direction and implementation while government looked up to the federal government.

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The fact of the situation is that the resources abounded among the people , to help secure the future of their community , alma mater or institution, but there was no sense of belonging. Business mist not continue as usual if we are to avert a looming disaster worse than the failures in WAEC.

What makes the School Governing Board system unique in Oyo state?

While the School Based Management System is not new, the Oyo State SGB is a variant with a significant difference with the adoption of a subtle but powerful innovation that recognised the role of core- stakeholders. It sounded alien to the known schemes , and I can say there were fears and mistrust about the intentions. Some notable groups fought against it but thank God at the end, everyone saw reason and embraced ‘true change’.

In the short period of operation, we thank God for notable testimonies of development. I want to say without any doubt in my heart that what we see is just a tip of the ice-berg. The success of the SGB is much more than these  facilities, and resources. It is the impact it will have on our future, collectively.

The positive competitive spirit among the SGBs will lead to greater manifestation of the wealth of this state and even this region.

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In a simple word, what is your advise  to your constituency on the new face of education in Oyo state?

 

Like Malcolm X said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.

The best is yet to come.

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