By: Professors X&Y
“We as the voice of the voiceless (students) say a big thank you right from the leading mandate of the institutions the Rector, and other prominent fathers and mothers of the institution, the Deputy Rector, Registrar, Dean Student Affairs, All Faculty Deans and All Department HODs”. That was the voice of the Association of Departmental Presidents’ in The Polytechnic, Ibadan where they’re congratulating and eulogising the efforts, listening ears of the management to their plea (Removal and Refund of Internet and WiFi payment, delay in result, postponment of exam, fixing of Portal issues and other related problem) which was in consonance with the agreement reached 13th October, 2020 aftermath a peaceful protest.
However, for the past half a decade, the subject of the insurance policy in The Polytechnic, Ibadan has always been the Devil’s advocate. It’s been the bane of several drama that has occurred on campus. A drama that has all assunder casted in major roles. From the common students as extras, the students’ leaders and management as main cast, and seldom, the government as guest act.
It’s been series of episodic movie since the introduction of this policy in the new session of 2015/2016. If I can remember correctly, because of this payment, students’ leaders had launched a protest that eventually spiralled out of control, this protest turned riot caused the management to suspend all activities on campus for a whooping four weeks. As if that wasn’t enough, on resumption students had to pay a sum of a thousand naira for reparation, present a signed letter of attestation of good behaviour by cleric. Wait, it gets better, the reason for the protest stayed. Students had no choice but to pay for the said insurance. It was the perfect drama, and it remained for another four years.
Far from it, on Monday 13th of October, a week after resumption, and the day scheduled to start examinations, I woke up to find all entry into the school shut. Lo and behold, another protest. I moaned to myself. “Oh no, not again.” I dreaded the worst, because it was concurrent with the #EndSARS protest, and I feared it could be hijacked by hoodlums and then spiral out of control, this would then force the management to shut down the school. The youths were angry, youths are students, I knew many weren’t there for the course but for the violence. So, it was ideal for me to doubt if the violence could be shut out.
Furthermore, the year/academic calendar 2020, after the forced six-months’ vacation induced by COVID-19, students woke up to the earlier circulated directive from the SUG ‘NOT TO PAY’ for insurance and other miscellaneous fees. I took this with a pinch of salt, because I thought like a rational thinking Nigerian, I asked myself ‘why now? why are these people trying to frustrate the management?” Perhaps it was a bit selfish on my part, wanting to resume, and not wanting anything that would needlessly delay resumption. But like a farce that it has always been, it suddenly died down. No explanation from the SUG, no statement from the management.
Apparently, there was to be a Conference that was disappointingly cancelled at the last minute, no explanation for this either, I won’t get you started. It would seem like the Union Leaders and the management had reached an agreement on the insurance. One would think it was the calm after the storm.
Surprisingly, they did so successfully for two days. It was ‘the successful protest’. Obviously, I wont attribute it to the diplomatic savviness of the Students’ Leaders, it’s still a strong win nonetheless. They benefitted greatly from the scantiness of the hostel that saw not more than 200 students living inside the campus at the time.
The students’ leaders sat in a round table meeting with the management; laid down their demands, terms and condition in a parley. Comically, the management conceded to 95% of the Students demands. Ironically, the one thing the students thought would be the toughest nut to crack (The Insurance Policy & Internet fee) was the first thing the Rector conceded, he even slammed the mallet to drive the point home. The management also informed the students that those who have paid would have their monies refunded.
And it was at that point it got confusing, it suddenly seemed like a faction didn’t want the money cancelled and only included it has a gamble. They obviously didn’t expect the management to concede so easily, and perhaps only wanted to drive the price down.
However, some seemed joyous by this achievement. What followed was even more interesting, the meeting was adjourned even despite reasonable conclusion, and most dispersed back to the site of protest. Thus, the prime board of campus journalist on campus, Press Council, published the report on the meeting under two hours later. This publication would then seemingly annoy certain circles amongst the students’ leaders so much so that they had a strong member of the council assaulted. He spent two days in the hospital. All for what? He did his job? but since it failed to align with the agenda, he had to be punished? Pending issues still coming by the mainstream media aftermath the batter of the campus journalist by the Students’ Leaders.
The Students’ Leaders remained in factions as they had different outlook on the development. Some assumed the Students’ Union was acting in the students’ best interest as the policy is a necessity in every standard institution. Others assumed that the SUG was acting in the selfish interest they hoped to benefits from the policy.
At this juncture it gets confusing, I fail to understand why the student union who approved the list of demands (below), prepared by other student leaders would suddenly be discontented by achieving such demands. One thing was noteworthy though, and that is, up until this moment, the Students’ Union hasn’t released a press statement to the student who they are apparently fighting for that addressed the protest, the achievement and the agreements.
Ideally, I feel we’re in modern world and it is required to have an insurance policy. However, even at N1,000 its still seems too expensive. But this is not about me, still my only confusion is why would the Students’ Union even include the removal of insurance amongst their other demands when they knew how important it was. Why did they fail to orientate their fellow leaders before the agreement on demands? In all of this saga, the Students’ Union take all the blame as they are the only guilty ones, their crime? Lack of responsibility. As the leaders, it is their duty to inform the students on what it is and what is not. I won’t like to add salt to an open wound on the SUG’s feet, but it is amusing to say the least.
Now they are running extra length to correct the errors they made. Not only that, they blame everyone but themselves for the mishap. Word around the SUB is that the Students’ Union blame Press Council for the removal of the insurance. If I recall correctly, the council was not informed about the protest. When it did come up, we had to join either ways. And in the said deliberation with the management, Press Council also kept mute throughout the over 3-hour long meeting. And we then published on what was agreed. What the SUG would have us believe is we misinformed the public, but if that was true, why hasn’t come out to debunk our news. Why haven’t they released a disclaimer that contain the true information. As a media house, Press Council has remained relevant for over near four decades because of our reliability. Then why exactly is the SUG trying to make it seem like we’re frustrating their efforts?
What followed is where it gets funny and confusing, on Thursday 22nd of October, the insurance was finally removed from the portal. It was a bit lethargic, but it was removed anyways. But come Friday, a press statement from the Student Union Government spread across social media. Evidently, it was leaked as it wasn’t spread across the right channels by the right person. This statement directed students to go ahead to pay the said insurance. Confusion rocked, students who had hitherto felt that they need not pay for the policy anymore were suddenly thrusted with the likely obligation of paying it.
Press council, then again, evoked the power of the fourth estate and found a way to interfere in the altercation without being assaulted this time. We resolved to create a survey insert link on google forms where we questioned the students on tactical questions about the insurance policy and if they would like to see it return. Evident from most of the responses below, most students were glad it was eventually removed and wouldn’t like to see it return.
They distrust the reliability, and this is caused by the misconception that can be forgiven because those in charge have failed to orientate the students on the importance of insurance. Now, it would seem as if it has finally been removed and there is no bone of contention. Two memoranda as made sure its in effect. One from the management, requesting the account details of the students who have paid for the insurance fees so as to refund them. Then another statement came from the association of departmental presidents whom showed their gratitude to the management and showered them with praises.
Soon, the students’ leaders broke into factions, the ones with the union, and the ones against. the ones in support of the return of the policy accused the other party of ignorance and shallow-mindedness; the ones against, bluntly implied that both the SUG and the ones in support are only trying to return the money due to some financial benefits that would then be cornered for personal gains. Basically, they were saying the SUG was betraying the students by renegading on their oath of office (i.e. fighting for students’ welfare) below some statements from the faculties’ heads.
THE POLYTECHNIC, IBADAN
STUDENT UNION GOVERNMENT
Solidarity greetings to you all.
This is to inform All Students that the Insurance Policy of the school has been reviewed. After so much complaint to the Management about paying for services we aren’t enjoying, the Management has finally heed to our cries.
It’s a known fact that, Insurance is one of the most important thing in the modern world as Insurance Companies are doing better,than banking sectors even, in Foreign Countries… This is because of the important role they play in the community as Accidents and Death are two things that mostly occur unannounced…..
In addition to this, all Institutions in Oyo State has an Insurance Policy so why should The Polytechnic, Ibadan be left out?As it’s definitely for the benefit of the Students..
THE STUDENT UNION GOVERNMENT USES THIS MEDIUM TO COMMUNICATE WITH STUDENTS TO PLEASE SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT BY PAYING A SUM OF #1000 NAIRA ONLY INSTEAD OF THE PREVIOUS #3000 PAYMENT THAT IS BEING TAGGED INTERNET AND INSURANCE… AS WE WOULD BE EMBARKING ONLY ON INSURANCE FOR THE STUDENT POPULACE BENEFIT..
PLEASE, NOTE THAT, STUDENTS WHO HAVE PREVIOUSLY PAID THE #3000 INTERNET AND INSURANCE SHOULD SUBMIT THEIR RECIEPT FOR A REFUND OF #2000 TO THEIR DEPARTMENTAL PRESIDENT WITH THEIR NAMES REGISTERED WITH THE PRESIDENT, AS ALL PRESIDENTS WOULD BE INFORMED WHEN THE REFUNDING EXERCISE WILL BEGIN..
ALSO, STUDENTS THAT ARE YET TO PAY SHOULD PAY THE SUM OF #1000 ONLY AS ITS ONLY FOR INSURANCE..
We are glad that the Management Team has given us this opportunity to secure our Health Interest Ourselves
#when the struggle continues, Vîctõrîã Ãcêrtã
FESSA PRESIDENT 2019/2020: Presidency
Faculty of environmental studies students association
(Our take on insurance policy)
The faculty of environmental studies students association under leader the leadership of com Oseni Ibrahim Gallant bring to you a warmly and solidarity greeting.
I will like to inform you all about our stance on insurance policy early cancelled by The polytechnic, Ibadan management, Absolutely we all partake in total cancellation of insurance and WiFi payment regards your complaints and interest.
However from the records so far faculty of environmental studies students association has never for once been benefits the acclaimed purposeful insurance policy despite our millions contribution.
Early today the student union government release a memo direct all students to start paying for the insurance said it has been reviewed, this come as a surprise and seems pathetic cus its a no @ first then why yes to it now, it clearly show this is an act of selfishness and disloyalty, despite what the one voice as made achievable for us.
The school management already remove payments we all agree on mutually during the agitation, and we could confirm the insurance fee is out of the portal since yesterday, and its seems to a job done, so the question is “who, why and when is it review and sign to be back in existence?”
Its in lieu of this I will like to announce and vows to you to disregard this and cease any payment of insurance due to aforementioned reasons.
We vows during the electoral process to always committed in addressing your needs and desires, and at all times to be there for you, Remember I will never trade you for kobo.
Federation of Ibadan Student Union*
The polytechnic Ibadan Chapter.
Oluyole ‘badan Amorawa!!
Sequel to the memo received today by the SUG On Insurance policy
The Federation of Ibadan student union will like to state her stand on it.
The payment of insurance and internet access fees was earlier cancelled by the management lastweek and the FIAP including Aare Raji Abdul Malik Adeniyi had a meeting where it was decided that both the insurance and internet fees will be removed, and which effect was seen earlier this week on all the student portal.
It’s surprising to see in the SUG memo this morning that the insurance fees is been said to be review and would be infused back into the student portal which is contrary to what was been agreed on earlier.
In response to this, we would implore all the members of Federation of Ibadan student Union not to pay for this fee as there is still talks and discussions on this issue which agreement and consensus hasn’t been reached. We pledge to always serve you and we won’t agree to whatever will be contrary to the benefit and interests of our members. Pls disregard any release telling you to further insurance payment for now!.
Aare Raji Abdul Malik Adeniyi
FACULTY OF BUSINESS AND COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES STUDENT’S ASSOCIATION
Alutarian greetings in its humblest manner to all Fabcomssaite
Having become highly imperative to break the silence about the viral spread information reinstating the Health Insurance scheme, read me out with an open heart.
Frankly, I won’t be the President who brought options of contract and benefit talks to the table of the Union President later upturning the viral rumour with contempt, deceit and dishonesty.
My stand initially to reinstate the Health insurance scheme was basically due to the ineptitude service of the health center, having made a research about how health insurance scheme can help us generalize individual encounter with minor or severe risk/loss even at an emergent time.
However, as a servant leader, I’m aware of our local health medication inefficiencies which needs solution, I made consultation with all my well oriented and responsive constituent Presidents and our submit now is to declare all (FBCS) students out of the NHIS scheme which usually serve students purposes in a very little way.
I hereby need to urge us not to read and digest the write up of dishonest and a clueless environmentalist who want to taint the personality of the Union President, I’m not biased but we all need to note the remarkable achievement, first of its kind led by the Liberator.
I humbly declare this academic session free of illness before the Almighty as we all have strongly voiced against the reinstatement of the NHIS scheme, your humble boy at your service as pledge on the assumption of office.
Opoola Ibrahim Adekola (IBM)
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLYTECHNIC ENGINEERING STUDENTS (NAPES)
Great salutation and acknowledgment to all powerful stakeholders.
Prior to the memo going around about the review of insurance policy from the SUG, I will like to speak on behalf of my comrades, and give our stands about this.
The reasoning of the SUG is known only to them as the stands and voices of my people is also my voice,
I could recall in the last meeting held which comprises of all leaders, majority condemned and make it known that their no is no and no going back.
So I’m here to make our stands clear that FENG as a whole say no to this action as we are in no support of this scheme
I made a vow to always be the voice of my people and never to use the mandate given to me in depriving them of their right and freedom to make their voices heard.
Ajadi Sodiq Odunayo
( ASO )
Cc: FENG Stakeholders
Cc: All FENG Department President
Then the SUG president said:
“I love the survey execise that was done before my proceedings…
I never met with the Management concerning Insurance.
I only told the Public Relations Officer to do that for our visibility studies..
Thank God you all supported it and you know it has been removed on the portal..
It will be very stupid for a leader to decide alone.
All messages has been considered …
To all Faculty Presidents,it’s clear that you all have the love and interest of your members at heart..
May The Al-Mighty help us all….
Expect the Detailed Press Release soon…..
Fadare loves you all. Thanks…
My take? Is the insurance policy bad? No. what just seem off about the issue is the drama that surrounds the Initiative, collaboration, it’s presumptuous Removal, the slaps, the rancour, the politics and mystery. Before this article causes controversy, I would like to write its motive in plain words; as a concerned student, what exactly is happening? What aren’t they telling us? Because it will take the smartest detective to discover what conspiracy is happening here. The pieces just doesn’t fall into place.