In response to the clamour from the Student Union representatives across tertiary institutions in Oyo State through the office of the Special Assistant to the governor on student affairs, his excellency the govenor, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde approved 2000 bags of Oyo State COVID-19 palliative package to be distributed to stranded students in the state.
Of the about 17 publicly owned tertiary institutions in the state, the University of Ibadan received her own share of the palliatives today, the 25th of July, 2020. The total package that reached the University of Ibadan was about 80 bags of the Oyo State COVID-19 package containing different food stuffs, which was later increased by 20 bags, to a total of 100 bags.
The distribution of these palliative packages had started since Monday 20th July, 2020 in other schools, with the University of Ibadan distributing hers today, which was coordinated by the Student Union executives, guided by the student union president in person of Akeju Oluwasegun.
In an interview with the Special Assistant to the Oyo State on students affairs, Mr Olojede Victor Dideoluwa, he pointed out that the palliatives were meant to specifically help stranded students in the state. He also stressed that the package might not be enough perpetually, but would go a long way to suffice for some days, the beneficiaries. He called to view the governors love for students, a reason why this could happen.
The turn out from the students union record of the number of available students was about 400 students with number tags, and also a large population of students yet without numbers, pushing the total turn out to above 450 students. Compared to the number of available palliative bags from the Oyo State government, this turn out was alarming.
The Special Assistant to the Oyo State government in his own opinion stated that some students might have been unfair, in that they might not exactly pass for being stranded, or might have the necessary resources to survive, reiterating that the palliatives were supposedly for students who do not have the necessary resources to eat, and are stranded in the state.
Finally, he, Mr Victor Olojede appreciated some top government officials who were party to ensure that the allotment of the Oyo State COVID-19 package to students was possible. Mentioned in his praise included the Oyo State Commissioner for Special Duty, Chief Bayo Lawal, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Seun Fakorede (founder of Home Advantage Africa), Honorable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barrister Olasukanmi Olaleye and the Director and Executive Adviser to the Oyo State government on Agric Business, Hon. Debo Akande.
Speaking with President Akeju, he expressed joy for the possibility of helping stranded students in the state and specifically University of Ibadan students (UItes), his own constituency. He also expressed his appreciation to the Oyo State government for the kind gesture to students, stranded in the state and also to the Special Assistant to the governor on Students Affairs.
On the large amount of turn out, the president expressed his own shock, but stressed that measures were put in place immediately to account for the large turn out. Part of the measures included pairing two students to a bag, which was later increased to four. Also, the Distance Learning Students (DLC) who were available were prevented from receiving the package, which was later reverted after a little bit of complain from the DLC students. Also, some yet to matriculate 100 level students who were present were prevented from recieving the palliative package – all efforts to ensure that the package got to everybody possible and necessary.
On resumption, the president (Akeju Oluwasegun) stated that there is no insider information yet, but that the Federal Government (FG) has instructed schools to put in measures to prepare for a safe resumption, which the University of Ibadan is already doing, as evidenced in the installation of wash hand places in Bello Hall, and other places on campus. In his own opinion, he said we could be hopeful for a good reply from the FG after these measures have been fully installed. As of any information on resumption from the Vice Chancellor, he specified that he had none.
To UItes, the president says UItes should be hopeful, that if more palliatives come, they (the Student Union) would inform students. He also advised that UItes should keep engaging themselves at home, trying their best to add value to themselves, as in taking internships, working, taking courses online and a lot of other things, so as to ensure they do not waste the year totally.