The University of Ibadan has 9 undergraduate halls of residence with 6 males and 3 females respectively. For the male, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall fondly called the Baluba Kingdom holds a very high position in the university history and importance. Housing almost 1000 (legal) occupants baring squatters, floaters and spirits, Zik is a force to reckon with in UI.
For the ladies, Queen Idia Hall also commands a huge level of respect amongst the female folks, situated right being the Great Independence Hall, Idia is also a force to reckon with. Named after the great Queen Idia of Benin, Idia girls are known to be people of class and prestige, in simple words they are the top babes.
For generation after generation, the story of the rivalry between these two iconic halls of residence have been told and retold and it has become a tale of two great nations bound together but far apart and at any slight opportunity, their differences will be quite exposed. However, the truth behind the whole rivalry seems to be lost and several versions have come to see the light of day many of which are a deviation from what happened. Just like the adage says “if you are not too sure about the future, you must have a grip over the past” let’s get into the past.
On a gentle Saturday evening on the 7th of November 2015, Idia Hall girls were all glammed up for the hall’s dinner for that academic session and as it was a custom with Idia over the years, if it’s Idia then it’s quality. Everything was set and all was in place, the venue which was the postgraduate hall just opposite Queen Idia Hall, the Abubakar Abdulsallam field was well decorated and all was set to hit the roof, suddenly the unexpected happened, first the lights went off and soon it becomes a stampede and it soon became all (wo)men for himself, Zik boys had invaded the dinner and only the strong could survive. Right before the eyes of Idia girls decorations were destroyed, food was looted and wasted and all one can imagine as the worst in a dinner happened just in split seconds, a dinner worth over #1 million naira(in 2015) has just been scattered. In the words of a witness of the occurrence, “I can never forget that day, I went back to my hostel with 1 full cooler of meat, it was a terrible night”. Much more than food wastage and losses, according to reports of that night least 5 students sustained injuries in different ranges and The medical centre of the university, JAJA had unexpected guests. What a night it was and the annals of Queen Idia Hall will always remember.
One would begin to ask what could have warranted such acts from the boys of the Baluba kingdom against powerless and defenceless ladies who only wanted to have an evening of enjoyment to themselves after a long academic session. So this is what happened. Earlier that same day, the customs of the halls of residence towards the end of the academic session was to hold their Hall week, which is always a colourful event and a major highlight is the Rally. Zik boys had moved her rally train to Queen Idia Hall to make a formal announcement of their hall week to the Idia ladies and also to display the Baluba culture, what the Zikites met at Idia was not what they expected. Rather than being cheered and welcomed with applause, Idia girl bathed Zik boys with a liquid substance believed to be a combination of collected and stored urine, wastewater and other unholy and unclean substances, it was a big wash on Zikites that instead had of making them clean made them dirty. One can only imagine the mockery, pain, disgust and irritation from such an act on the individuals who participated in the rally that day it was an unholy bath, one that stinks at that. One can only imagine what could have warranted such an act from Idia girls, history says it’s a retaliation for the humiliation the Idia girls received from the Zik boys when they had earlier taken their rally train to Zik hall too. So, before Zik’s rally, Idia had earlier taken their rally to Zik hall but was met with boos and somewhat discouraging comments even after their well-rehearsed and energetic display, you’d trust Zik boys not to hide their remarks about a thing. Although Zik boys offered to help them give ‘ginger’ to their rally, an offer the Mellidiates declined.
The next stop for the ladies was the home of the katangaites, the Great Independence Hall. After just coming from the unwelcoming environment in Zik, the Idiaites moved into a more hostile environment. They were welcome with boos and their exit was marked with water baths from Katangaites, it was an unpleasant experience, it left a sour taste in the mouth of the ladies and they vowed to have their pound of flesh whenever they had the opportunity.
Several years after, the occurrence of 2015 still overs around the University of Ibadan, the shadows are still quite visible and the rivalry between these two great halls is still quite evident. At the early period after the nasty drama between both halls, Idiaites were forbidden to pass through Zik hall, it was quite scary and even till date Zikites would rather choose to partner with Awoites than their next neighbours. They would gladly make a journey of over 400meters from Zik hall to Awo hall to help the ladies wash their tanks rather than help the ladies of Queen Idia Hall.
Although generations have passed many still have different narratives of what happened. An alumnus who also witnessed these occurrences thinks that the source of this enmity is envy. “According to what we later heard then, Idiaites were angry that Zikites were no longer dating the them but the freshers. Almost all Idia fresher back then had a Zikite to herself and you know girls stuff na, the satellites were angry so they were beefing Zikites already”
Another Idiaite who was at the dinner that night, “I remember that night like it was yesterday, had to look for a table to hide under before the postgraduate guys came to rescue us😥😥.”
A Zikite also added “The urine came as a rude shock to the boys. I mean, they knew they had offended the girls by booing them earlier so they were kinda expecting the girls to insult them too and pour water(sometimes dirty water) Sha. Ọmọ, the liquids started raining and it was urine😂😂”
Another Idiaite said”Idia girls suffered for this smh.
They couldn’t pass Zik bridge.
They couldn’t even enter Zik for weeks.
And the name calling “IDIOT GIRLS” etc.., let’s not even start.
Smh it was a dark period for Idia girls at that time.”
Anger still brews in the hearts of Idiaites who witnessed that day, although it’s many years after there are still scars that are yet to heal thoroughly and completely.