By Jonathan Ugbal
The stifling of unionism and abuse of unionists in educational institutions by staff is a recurrent decimal and this played out for the umpteenth time to close watchers as a lecturer in the Federal College of Education, Obudu told the institution’s students union government officials that they were “a bunch of nonsense”.
The lecturer, Iheagwam White, verbally assaulted the union officials after putting to a halt matriculants who were dancing to tunes played by a live band during the college’s 32nd matriculation ceremony held at the game’s village, Obudu.
The students who were waiting for the arrival of the provost who delayed for over half an hour after the students procession for reasons CrossRiverWatch as at press time could not find out, were accosted by the stern looking lecturer who described the union officials as a “bunch of nonsense who don’t even know their place or what they ought to do”, as well as labelling them “a shame and disgrace,” then coerced the President of the union, Comrade Adie Samson Akeh to tender a public apology and call “his students to order”.
The President who was visibly shaken, urged the students to remain calm and reminding them that their certificates will include the clause, “having been found worthy in character and learning”.
Later in an address, the Provost, Eugene Ibli who was unsure of the number of matriculants described as unacceptable the demands from some corners of the college community for a vehicle to convey staff and students to Bebi campus while stressing on the need for all hands to be on deck to actualize the vision and mission statements of the college.
“The main aim for having the Bebi campus is to have students living with the locals and the staff or not more than 5 kilometers away so the situation where people complain that there is no government vehicle to transport them is unacceptable.
“The best is what we are striving to offer in terms of teaching and learning and general service delivery. The college has a mandate and this is captured in the vision and mission statements which have placed an enormous burden on both staff and students in an effort to translate them into traits and competences which can be verifiable in the quality of service delivery and the flairs and skills of our graduands. I want to use this opportunity to call on all staff to give their best and the students to internalize the academic culture of the college which is elastic and elaborate”.
The matriculation ceremony which was billed for 9am as posted on notice boards across the school was rescheduled to 10am only for it to begin by 10:48am while the provost’s procession began over 45 minutes later.
Evidence of poor preparations could be seen as the canopies to shelter the matriculants were in short supply with people as well as students who came to witness the event forced to scale through a less than a meter wide pedestrian gate while the main gate was locked.
CrossRiverWatch could not get the official number of matriculants as the printed speech of the provost stated 1,799 while the provost stated it stood at “around 2,000” the morning before the matriculation ceremony.
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