OAU News: Fatoyinbo Gafar O. (Socrates) replies accusations, Vindicates Oyebanjo OluwaSeun

MY UNABRIDGED RESPONSE

By Fatoyinbo Gafar O. (Socrates), President, NUESA OAU, Ile-Ife, (2016/2017 parliamentary session)_

_Thursday, 15th February, 2018._

7:03pm

Greetings to the generality of NUESITES. Trust our exams have been great. It’s quite expedient I give response to the claims levelled against me on the production of the faculty sign post. I stand to inform the entirety of *NUESITES* that the idea of producing a faculty sign post was never accidental but a thought borne out of the decision to give cognizance to the views of a sizeable number of NUESITES who were always of the opinion that the faculty sign post among other faculty items such as the marker boards in the lecture rooms upstairs have lost its befittingness and that replacement is long overdue. *In an attempt to achieve this, a joint decision was taken at an executive meeting that the faculty sign post (electronic version) should be produced and that by the virtue of the constitutional duties of the President in setting up sub committees as circumstances warrant. Subsequently, a five (5) man committee was instituted comprising of the General Secretary, Financial Secretary, the deputy speaker, a Congress man and the President* with the sole responsibility of putting in place the board. *The financial Secretary being a member of the committee was asked to prepare the estimate of the entire items proposed for the administration’s capital projects which he subsequently prepared and got it forwarded to the house through the B&F committee.*

*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*
It’s worthy for me to state here without the fear of any garrulous critics that the ratification process of the capital projects was not a hitch free one as political differences and myopic interest of some involved persons affected the process which nearly killed the idea. _*Please recall that several attempts were made by some persons in the parliament to frustrate the wheel of progress by seeing the association capital project as a prey to the collection of the unjustified refreshments allowance for parliamentarians*_. The differences beclouded the interest of some members of the committee who acted as sympathizers for the Parliamentarians especially as the issues couldn’t get resolved *until it caught the attention of the faculty management where the idea of the refreshments was put to rest in the presence of a NUESITE (Oyebanjo Oluwaseun), the speaker, the clerk of the parliament, Fadodun Philips Olawale (Positive), Hon. AZED, Hon. Sirdam. Siewen’s attention was subsequently sought for by the Dean of the Faculty being a union officer from the faculty stating that he should serve as the intermediary between the two parties and also charged with “giving report to the faculty leadership and the advisory body from time to time on the successful execution of the project and bringing for resolve, any suspicious fracas capable of springing up crisis that can lead to the proscription of the association at a later time”*. Hence, a justification for his involvement in the production process and even right from the ESRC refreshment/pet coke saga.
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Without burying the truth, let it be made known that the execution of the _*capital projects (faculty sign post and public address system) was never done without the involvement of the committee members*_. _*Although, not all the members were actively involved. Even at that, majority of the committee members sincerely and honestly partook in the process from the onset to the point of delivery.*_
Recall that the public address system purchased at Love of God stores, Moore, Ile-Ife was done in the company of 3 members (The Fin.Sec, Gen.Sec & I) of the committee on *Wednesday, 29th November, 2017* signaling the participation of the *majority* of the members in the process.

*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*
*Let me make it known for the sake of posterity that the negotiation process for the engineer who will best handle the project was made with three different persons but couldn’t materialize due to the outrageous price demanded for by the persons contacted.* _On two different occasions, one of the engineers was contacted in the presence of the financial Secretary at the NUESA SECRETARIAT where a huge amount of *#250,000* *was demanded for by the engineer having given him the description of what we wanted (electronic sign post that will be a replica of faculty of Law sign post) but in the end we couldn’t go further considering the purse of the association*_. *The said contractor can be for the sake of confirmation contacted on the number 08062487954.*
*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*
The engineer who eventually got the contract works at the *University’s agricultural engineering department (suggested by a well meaning NUESITE) who was negotiated with on the sign post at Agric. Engr Depart, done in the presence of General Secretary while the Financial Secretary had to take permission in preparation for a continuous assessment he was to write the following day*. It was at that point that a sum of *#150,000* was agreed for the construction of the project.
_Let me also as a matter of exigency state that the sign post promised was not in structure a replica of faculty of Law sign post as against the info being reported, but a replica in the fact that it’s going to be an electronic version_. *Pls, recall that faculty of Law sign post was not made by the Law students’ society but law class of 2015 and was reportedly sponsored by the faculty Alumni and was equally handled by a construction company according to a former president of Law students’ Society. Hence, the probability of it being of greater quality than ours and as such considering its quality, an average engineer won’t give consent in making such board for anything less than #250,000 reference to the 1st Engineer contacted earlier.*
Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!! Let me also add that in the course of defending the budget at a meeting with the budgetary and finance committee of the house on the proposed amount for the sign post, *I deemed it fit to challenge the committee to come up with an engineer who could make the sign post at a lesser price after all, it is an association project in which any well meaning student of the faculty can make reasonable suggestion on how the project can best be executed but no suggestion was given by the committee nor the B & F*.

*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*
*Having made the first part of payment for the project, the contractor was given a two weeks ultimatum to deliver the project unfortunately, the agreement was truncated by the NASU industrial action thereby making the engineer to take the project out of the campus for production*. It is also worthy to note that the project would have been delivered long before now but was stampeded by the *Treasurer, Osuolale Godwin who at different point in time fled so as not remit the remaining part of the money needed for the project*. I must commend the financial Secretary for his regular calls in the course of the last break in monitoring the situation and the progress of the board and there was no point in time that I made anything hidden on the production process.
*Let me also state here for emphasis that High Show and Hay Why for more than three times accompanied me to the engineer’s workshop at Olasode, Ife city for monitoring of the project. NEITHER THE ENGINEER NOR THE WORKPLACE WAS EVER UNKNOWN TO THEM.*

*_During any of these periods at the workplace, none of the members was raising eyebrows on the size or the quality of the sign post in fact they were always willing to commend the engineer for a job well done but that the delivery process should be hastened as the administration was preparing to bow out._* *The committee was never a one man business and I must inform the generality of NUESITES that the two gentlemen never at any time questioned the quality of the work or service being rendered even in the presence of the engineer at his workplace.*
*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*
*About a month ago, precisely, 25th January, 2018, I was also accompanied by the General Secretary and Financial Secretary to the workshop of the printer who handled the plastic* part of the sign post after a sum amount of #45,000 had already been paid in catering for the remaining 30% of the project money which was even counted *in cash* by the Financial Secretary himself out of his handbag. *An average NUESITE of enviable intelligence would at this point want to assert that it was quite irrational of the financial Secretary to give his consent to the payment of 30% balance for a work that he believes is substandard, not like that of the Faculty of Law and even with the fact that the engineer claimed the work has gotten to 70% as at that time*. *In fact, the inscription on the plastic illustrating Faculty of Education as well as the list of the departments was equally seen and okayed by the duo of General Secretary and Financial Secretary with no disapproving gestures of any form. A pointer to the fact that they were satisfied with the nature of the work*. Thus, no objection or suggestion or correction from the duo till this point.
*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*

I must at this point inform you that after much delays from the engineer, the much anticipated project was completed on Saturday, 10th February, 2018 and we were told to come for it the following day (Sunday). Upon getting the information on the completion of the work, the *financial secretary and the General Secretary as well as other executives of the cabinet* were informed immediately on the preparation for carrying the sign post and that interested exco(s) should endeavour to be on ground for the erection.
*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*

*On Sunday, 11th February, 2018, again, in the company of the General Secretary (High Show), Financial Secretary (Hay Why) and Oyebanjo Oluwaseun (Siewen) the sign post was gone for and none of the attendees put forward any complaints neither on the quality nor the size of the sign post even when one would have expected the most unpalatable and disheartening comments from them but rather than condemn the sign post, they all registered their satisfaction and gave kudos to the handler, a clear precursor to the action of the Financial Secretary for posting happily online the pictures of the sign post immediately it was mounted at the faculty. In fact, I even asked _”Ay hope the board is okay sha, High Show say something…”_* No iota of condemnation was made even at this point by them. Well, I’m not surprised at them trying to pass derogatory comments recently, it only depicts their leadership inconsistencies.
*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*

I make bold to asset that the approved some of #150,000 meant for the production of the board was paid to the contractor with utmost sense of transparency and I equally want to put it to you for the sake of undiluted information that on no account have I negotiated for personal interest nor aggrandizement without the knowledge of the committee members. Every necessary information about the production of the sign post from the point of negotiation till the delivery as well as the detail of the engineer is very much intact and I charge anyone who wishes to make further findings to please do so for the sake of record and reckoning.

*In fact, it isn’t even as if the project was done at Ibadan or in my home town. Naturally speaking & sentiments apart, if I had anything to hide, would I have made the duo (Fin.Sec & Gen.Sec know the workplace? Yet, both the workplace, the engineer, the painter’s workshop were made known to them.* It’s essential for me to also state here that politics has engulfed the heart of some persons and such is being allowed to manifest in their thinking and interest concerning the signpost. I’m not surprised although, it’s painful.
*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*
I will not come here to defend unsubstantiated info neither will I feed you with misleading claims and that’s why I would always make bold to assert that the production of the sign post was painstakingly done in good faith and with great intention for the faculty and it’s been receiving bunch of dissenting opinions from different quarters, bunch of commendations and statements of condemnations from far and near. Of course, such is inevitable. But *NEVER* will I decide to go rich on the sweat of NUESITES and won’t for no reason go against the oath of office I attested to while assuming office.

*Greatest NUESITES! Articulate NUESITES!!*

I admit the fact that this is a Titanic struggle but I trust I will be vindicated by the truth and nothing less. I appreciate the consciousness of NUESITES in ensuring that the information behind the production of the board is sought for and that any shady deal or dubious display by anyone involved is meted with stern measures without giving preference to any sacred cow. The administration has gone through thick and thin and I must thank NUESITES for the every time support and readiness at defending the image of the association. History beckons on us all while posterity stares us in the face.

I attest to the fact that the administration didn’t achieve all it intended to achieve but the little legacies laid on ground will continue to withstand the test of time.

I thank you for your objective views, subjective views and opinions and many thanks for the right of response.
God bless!
*_Fatoyinbo Gafar O. (Socrates)_*

_Immediate past President, Nigerian Universities Education Students’ Association (NUESA), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife._

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