The power of the press is enormous and its influence, theoretically limitless. The press not only informs but also acts as an agent of change to right the wrongs in the society through mass information. This was what made Mr. Adekunle Adebajo now a rusticated 500 Level Law student at the Nigeria premier University, University of Ibadan (UI) write an article denouncing the poor state of things at the University in April 2016. Adebajo called the attention of the University Management and the federal government to the poor state of learning infrastructure on the school campus.
The article published in Guardian Newspapers which should have attracted commendation from the University. Instead the university took offence and decided to retaliate by punishing Adebajo. The University after laying its hands on the article summoned him before a disciplinary panel in the school. He faced the panel, wrote a response on his intention as according to him the article was a means of championing the development of the University but that didn’t bode well for the student.
He put in series of apology letters all in a bid to accept his “error” but the University Management wouldn’t budge. He was rusticated last month after two full years of facing several panels. The treatment of Adebajo by the University to say the least is draconian. The university by its action has shown it has no interest in free speech and human rights.
The University might have rusticated Adebajo but the poor state of infrastructure existing on UI campus remains the same. The poor lecture theatres, the poorly equipped library, the inadequate infrastructures and the rot of the existing ones are still in a worse state than it was in 2016. The University Management has shown its hatred for free speech and the effect is far reaching. By this action if I may ask, who will salvage the University from further rot?
It is clear the poor state of the University is acceptable to the management of UI and it will remain the same. For Adebajo, his two years rustication will soon be over but what about the rot in UI. Will it be over in two years?