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Nigeria’s premier varsity shut over students’ protest



Sigma Club, a students’ club in the University of Ibadan(UI), has awarded a million naira scholarship to ten brilliant and indigent students of the university. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the announcement was made during the club’s scholarship and awards ceremony held at the UI Alumni Centre on Sunday. NAN reports that the club, founded in 1950 is one of the oldest surviving students’ organisation in West Africa The club had in addition to the scholarship, conferred honorary membership as “Sigma Scholar” on the beneficiaries. Mr Valentine Igbonekwu, the Sigma Chief, said that the one million naira would be shared among the 10 beneficiaries at N100,000 per annum until the end of the end of their programme. He said that the scholarship, which covered the beneficiaries’ tuition and accommodation, would be paid to the school directly by the club. Igbonekwu noted that the balance of the amount paid would be given to each beneficiary at the beginning of every session. According to her, the scholarship scheme is an initiative of the socio-philanthropic club aimed at helping to solve the existential problems affecting the educational sector by rewarding and awarding diligent but indigent students. “Its objective is to provide full and relief scholarships to enable them complete their education and actualise their academic goals. “The scholarship scheme was established in 1986 and since then about 87 students have benefitted. Through the receipt of the Sigma Scholarship, beneficiaries become Sigma Scholars. “This noble gesture is in continuation of the club’s noble tradition of philanthropy, which is aimed at improving the lives of people in our immediate environment as well as cause a rapid upliftment of humanity. “Our motive lies in breeding Sigma Scholars who shall make positive impacts and monumental contributions to the development of our society and the world at large,’’ he said. Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola, the Chairman of the event and Chancellor, Lead City University in Ibadan, commended the club for standing out at a time many are thinking the average youth cannot contribute meaningfully to the society. “I am happy that the club has not derailed from the philanthropic cause I had always known it for. “I call on the beneficiaries to remain morally upright, outstanding in their academics and be agents of change, seizing every opportunity to give back to the society,’’ he said. Dr Okon Onyong, the Chairman, Sigma Scholarship Scheme Board of Trustees, congratulated the beneficiaries and promised more commitment to the scheme. Onyong, the Chief Executive Officer, Jevkon Oil and Gas, recounted the unforgettable memories of his being a loyal Sigmite as an undergraduate. Prof. Idowu Olayinka, the UI Vice-Chancellor, commended the prestigious club for taking a bold step towards alleviating the financial conditions of future leaders. Olayinka, who was represented by Dr Demola Lewis, the Deputy Dean of Students, expressed great optimism at the sustained and continued success of the scheme. He also appreciated the blossoming rapport the club had with the school management over the decades. Kikiowo Kingsley, one of the beneficiaries, promised that they would continue to lead the crusade for the change the society needed, while sustaining the tradition of academic excellence. Kingsley, a first-class student of the Faculty of Law, expressed profound gratitude to the club for finding them worthy of the lifetime opportunity. NAN reports that the ten beneficiaries emerged from a list of 38 shortlisted out of the 77 applicants from various departments in the institution after a screening examination was conducted. The event was also attended by the representative of the Old Sigmites’ Association, Dr Femi Oyamakin and members of the all-male undergraduate club.

The management of the University of Ibadan on Monday shut the institution and directed the students to vacate the campus on or before  6pm.

The News Agency of Nigeria( NAN)  reports that the students had earlier taken  to the streets of Ibadan in protest, alleging insensitivity on the part of the  university management.

But the university’s  Director of Communications and Publication, Olatunji Oladejo,  told  NAN that the closure  became necessary in other to avert crisis.

He said that the Vice Chancellor,  Prof. Idowu Olayinka, had convened an emergency meeting of the university Senate  to review  the circumstances surrounding the development.

” The University of Ibadan in its wisdom has decided to shift the  examination earlier scheduled  for June to July, 2017, ” Oladejo  said.

He said that undergraduate students are to resume back  in  school on July 17, while the post graduate students  would  continue to stay on campus for their research activities.

The students at a congress  on  Saturday passed a resolution  to disrupt the forthcoming examinations if students were not provided with identity cards.

They also asked the authorities  constitute the Students’ Welfare Board as well as allow  use of   cooking appliances that had been banned  in the halls of residence.

Modupe Seriboh - Nan

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