Controversy as students’ union parliament stops excos from holding programmes

By Olalekan Abdullah

The University of Lagos Students’ Union (ULSU) legislative council has cancelled the two programmes proposed by the executive council of the union. The programmes tagged “Freshers’ Orientation Programme” and “Legends Unite” were both slated to hold on Friday, 12th February, 2016 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Sports Centre. The cancellation was contained in statement issued by the ULSU legislative council, signed by the chairman, committee on Media and Publicity of the legislative council, Hon. Damilare Bayero. The students union executive council has also been mandated to cancel all plans put in place for the events. The statement reads in part “This is to inform all students and associated bodies of the University of Lagos about the cancellation of the ULSU’s Freshers’ “Orientation Programme” and “Legends Unite” both slated to hold on Friday, 12th February, 2016 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Sports Centre.” According to the statement, the programmes were cancelled because the allocated expenditure for both events was incredible and cannot be borne by the Union’s resources. “The reasons for the cancellation of the events are stated thus: The allocated expenditure for both events is incredible and cannot be borne by the Union’s resources. We are already in the seventh week since the day of resumption,” the statement read. The parliament noted that there have been other orientation programmes ranging from the University orientation, faculty and faculty associations’ orientation, department and departmental associations’ orientation, and halls of residence orientation organized for students on campus. It said, “Students have not been given accommodation (bed spaces) which is of high priority to us right now concerning the distance so many of us stay.” The legislative council also stated that the proposed budget which the ULSU executive council planned to expend on the events was “overwhelming, ridiculous and incredible.” “The amount cannot be borne by the resources of the ULSU which are meant to be used in catering for all of its activities and projects which are unlimited. “The ULSU Executive Council is proposing to spend 1,121,500 naira on the orientation programme with a whopping 1,000,000 naira going to feeding alone; they are also spending 700,000 naira on “Legends Unite”; both of which amount to a hilarious 1,821,500 naira. “It is therefore affirmed that the “Orientation Programme” and “Legends Unite” are both irrelevant and unnecessary as we cannot be at this stage of resumption and still be orientating the students. All students are deep into academic activities and there will be little or no regard for an “orientation” at this period. “Furthermore, there have been numerous other orientation programmes for these students already. The University orientation programme, faculties’ orientation, orientations held by their various departments and even the halls of residence. “In all these cases, ULSU Officers, from Students Executive Council [SEC] and Students Legislative Council [SLC], were invited to these orientation programmes to address the students on students’ unionism and its roles. “Therefore, the ULSU’s orientation will be a repetition of all these other preceding activities. With all relevant factors being put into consideration, we, the Students Legislative Council [SLC], see, and agree to it, that the “Orientation Programme” and “Legends Unite” are a waste of the ULSU’s resources which are meant to be used to meet unlimited ends. “Following all the aforementioned, all students and associated bodies of the University of Lagos are thereby enjoined to disregard any information getting to them on the events and to disregard the events in its entirety, including its organizers, as both have been cancelled and are not activities organized by the union.” Meanwhile, reacting to the cancellation of the programme, the ULSU president, Comrade Mohammed Olaniyan argued that the need to organize the programmes for the newly-admitted students can not be. underestimated. He noted that the were lots of issues which the new students do not understand and needed to be educated on adding that the budget proposal for the programme was well scrutinized. “students on campus need to be educated not even on what to buy. We have problem the new with course registration. They don’t know what GSD mean; good standing. All these we need to educate them on how to go about them,” he said. Olaniyan however, stressed that the executive council will re appeal for the programmes to hold.