Uproar in University of Ibadan Over Ajimobi’s N2m largesse to Student Leaders

A gift of N2 million Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo state, is the subject of rancour between students of halls of residents in the University of Ibadan and their executive council members.


On Friday, January 2, 2015, the governor invited leaders of all halls of residence in UI and neighbouring The Polytechnic Ibadan to a meeting at the government house, where he gave them N2 million.


The money, which was to be shared among the hall chairmen and chairpersons at N100,000 per head, was taken out of the government house to an undisclosed location.


According to TheCable, the student leaders eventually got N70,000, because Adelabu ‘Labzy’ Adeola, former presidential aspirant of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS); and Segun Olaleye (popularly known as Radical Brother), former UI Students Union president, deducted N30,000 as “PR” cost of organising the meeting.


The source added that of the N70,000, N20,000 was to be taken by the leader of every hall, while the remaining N50,000 was for the hall.


After the meeting, some of the student leaders returned to their halls to deliver meagre sums within the range of N500 to N3000 to the so-called stakeholders in the halls of residence.


“When the students found out how much was given to the student leaders, they confronted their leaders to ask for more, which eventually led to heated disagreement between the students and the executives,” the source said.


Some hall leaders had to lie to their hall members that they were only given N20, 000, which had been distributed already.


It was not just current hall leaders who were present at the meeting. Others were Toba Bankole, onetime chairman of Nnamdi Azikwe hall; Teslim Ogundiran, former information minister of the same hall; Victor Olojede, onetime aspirant of NANS JCC Oyo vice chairmanship seat; as well as ‘Labzy’ and ‘Radical Brother’.


Speaking on the meeting, Adelabu said he had always helped halls in the university access funds from politicians for their hall week celebrations.


“Over the years, I have always assisted the hall administration in getting funds from politicians to assist in their hall week, from the governor, Senator Olalehin, Honourable Awoleye and our own Radical Brother,” he said.


“The governor and Lanlehin only donated money once in 2011 after their inauguration, while Awoleye and Radical brother have been consistent.”


Adelabu went on to explain that he joined Radical Brother, who is a member of the governor’s contact committee, to approach the governor for support funds, which the governor turned down outright, saying UI students had not been grateful to him.


Radical brother pleaded on behalf of the students, promising they would “make it up this time around, since there was going to be public announcement of the money.”


On January 2, the hall leaders converged on the government house, where they were told the conditions tied to the money, which were not disclosed to news men.


On agreeing to the terms, the governor allotted N100,000 to each hall present, amounting to about N2m for halls from UI and The Polytechnic Ibadan.

According to Adelabu, the N30,000 removed from each hall was to be shared by attendees and spent on PR.


“N70,000 was given to each attendee, N50,000 for the hall week and N20,000 for each hall chairperson. The rest was shared by the attendees and on PR,” he explained.

“Everybody was aware. I, Bankole and Ogundiran (all three not hall chairmen) also got N20,000. Extra N10,000 was given to the representatives of hall chairpersons who couldn’t make it, so they can settle their hall chairs too. The halls that were not present had their representatives.”


Elsewhere, Lateef Bada, the chairman of Mellanby hall, UI’s premier hall of residence, said the money was a gift but it was “slashed by the inner cabal” just for him to have N20,000 only.


“Truly, the governor invited us during the weekend and gave us money as gift. To my utmost surprise, the money was slashed by inner cabals; I personally got N20,000,” he said.


Bada, who disclosed that the Students Union president was present, named the inner cabals as senior special advisers and special advisers to the governor and the likes.


However, Odesola Oluwafemi the SU president better known as ‘Huntersola’, said he was “not given a kobo” because he was not part of the deal.


The hall chairpersons have not been speaking with one voice on the purpose of the money. While some have said they were given the money for their hall week, which held some weeks ago, others claim the money a mobilisation for the governor’s second-term bid. A third group says the money was “just a gift”.


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