The VC’s award ceremony which held on the 19th June, 2019 was well attended by members of the administrative staff including the Vice Chancellor, the DVCs academics and administration, the CSO, Dean of Students Affairs, Registrar, PRO, SA VC amongst other notable personalities.

VC, DVCs and Dean of Students Affairs

On the part of the students’ community, there were members of the students’ organizing committee, stakeholders of various Faculties and departments, and a host of students.

Members of the Students’ Organizing Committee

A cross session of students in attendance

Also in attendant was Michael Jules of Admissions and UTME, Dennis Terna of Nenfadz Technologies, Nans Zone B leadership, Mc Monica, NUBSS National chairman, amongst others too numerous to mention.

Michael Jules – Admissions an UTME Nigeria

NUBSS Leadership

NANS South South Zone B Leadership

The events which was slated to hold at 3:00pm prompt actually started at 3:21 with prayer from Comr. Felix. The chairman of the organizing committee was immediately invited to the stage to address the listening audience on the purpose of the gathering. In his speech, he noted that the purpose of the gathering was based on the identification of the VC’s students’ oriented policies and on the need to acknowledge and award him for all his good works.

Several entertainments activities followed like music, dance and comedy which featured MC Monica thrilling his audience with his usual comic way. It was after this time that the lead paper presentation which was title: Developmental strides in the Niger Delta University; An inbound and outbound approach was presented by Michael Jules. This paper encompasses all the developments in school and those beyond the four walls of the school.

Mc Monica

At this point, Comr. Felix was already out to elucidate and to vibrate on the issues at hand. He highlighted UG/14 policy, Table water and bread, 98.1 FM, Wilberforce Island and many other programmes in the school including NDU new road amongst others.

The students’ community also took a time out to appeal to management to unban student’s unionism. This appeal was done by the Nans Zone B Chairman with his crew of excos who appealed to the listening Vice Chancellor that despite all that may had occurred, the VC should find it at this point important to unban students’ unionism. According to the Nans Zone B Chairman, ban of student’s unionism has greatly influenced the student’s leadership capacity, coordination of the matriculation day and so much more. At this point, all students has gone down on their kneels awaiting the VC to ask them to stand on their feet. Nevertheless, despite asking them to stand, there was no sign or agreement that unionism will be unbanned. It was agreed that during the VC’s address, all issues will be addressed together.

A cross section of the organizers joining NANS zone B appeal to VC to unban unionism

At this point, the MC invited the CEO of NDU2theWorld to present the major award to the VC. The VC was then invited to the podium for presentation of award. There and then, all the awards started rolling out one after the other.

Anchor

In total, four various awards were presented. This include the major award by the organizers, awards from the National Association of Delta State Students and the Award by Admissions and UTME Nigeria.

VC award presentation

Draft copy of Award from Admissions and UTME Nigeria

Award from National Association of Delta State Students (NADESSTU)

The Vice Chancellor immediately was handed the microphone to address the audience. This VC’s speech was the most hilarious and epic session throughout the whole of the event as it was marked with cheering, applauds and unceasing laughter. Below are the exact words of the VC:

In cognizance of the effect of the VC’s policies on business growth, the Admissions and UTME Team in collaboration with Nenfadz Technologies awarded the VC for “Administrative Foresight”.

From where our records started…

“It was on that day we were here till to 12 in the night and the CSO too was with us right there. NDU to the world. Made in NDU something like that concert. And the boy came up here and said it is only in NDU that you have a physical gate and online fence (audience cheered). You see the physical gate at the other side but the fence is online (cheers) because everything is online (crowd joined in saying “online”). And that is the policy, ICT, that is where we are going to. The Harvard is not different from the NDU, the Harvard is called a University, Niger Delta University is also called a University. The brains there are not better brains than us. God gave all of us equal brains. Its just the way we challenge our brains that matters and that is why we have decided that all our policies will be local content and that is why you see all these online you are talking about, all these online you are hearing are local content. We didn’t go out to any school, anybody somewhere outside, but we used our computer science students to design all the softwares we are using here today (applause).”

Mrs. Effua E. Berepubo (Registrar)

“To my very wonderful supportive DVCs, the registrar and the ex-checker in our midst, the bursar, and the lovely ICT man you see, always smiling, even here he is smiling, even Aggrey is smiling and then the wonderful CSO. When you see him, in fact, it is now you see everything online that you are at rest, otherwise, he would have said “ensure that you close this gate and everybody go house” (crowd cheers).

SA VC and CSO during the event

You remembered? You, some of you would believe that one, there was no night life here on campus, once it is 7 o’clock, go. But I don’t believe that. I have said it severally that all we need do is that all of us, will help ourselves. When we secure ourselves, be the security of yourselves, then we have agreed that 24 hours, all through the night, because some of us are stronger in the night to read, the day time you are weak. While some of us, strong in the day and in the night, they will sleep. And so, we make sure that everyone is given the opportunity. This is a university for Christ sake! You need to get everything before leaving the University, in fact, all positive thing, take note of that. Now, Godfrey (Nans Zone B Chairman) came up here and made you people to kneel down (Laughs). Whatever decision we have taken is for your good. As at the time even Felix that is coming here to talk – the brain was something else. Since I took over, I have conducted the fairest elections.

VC insisted in online voting to forestall management and political candidature

The one that brought in Mitin, Comr. Mitin, I was the one that ehnn (intercepted recordings)… because everything we are doing is online, election must be online (crowd simultaneously shouted “online”) (a student shouted “four tenure”). And how do we achieve it? I called this same students, what I am looking for is to give me a software, that students could be anywhere, whether in Lagos, PortHarcourt, everywhere, but because they are registered students of the Niger Delta University, they should be able to vote. It must not necessarily be that you must come to the Niger Delta University before you cast your votes. And it was decided. We tested it, and it was fantastic.

University PRO, Idoni Ingezi

And then, it came to the point where we gathered the students’ body and the students’ body said No! That there will be no online election. I stood my ground, that there must be online election. Otherwise, no election anymore. Why?  I wouldn’t want administration to influence anybody. You chose the leader that the students will want. I want the students to vote for their candidates, I wouldn’t want any interference from outside. Whether this is management, government, or whatever candidate, I wouldn’t want it. I wouldn’t want it. And so, finally, they accepted. After much pressure, they accepted. And then, the Dean of students affairs came, you know Okodoko my friend. You don’t know that accidentally, I was born the same day he was born, the same month he was born, the same year he was born (crowd cheers). Only I be senior because I must have come forth before him (audience laughs).

Prof. Samuel Gowon Edoumiekumor and Dr. Preye Okodoko Shared the same birth day

Don’t you see we look alike somehow? (audience shouted in mix tone, “Yes, No”). Only that his own swag is another one (crowd cheers). You know that? His own swag is different from my own. Don’t you see the way I am? But he has his own pattern. He has his own pattern. But his own is highly nativity. Is ehn bubaic which is accepted. And he came and said “VC, we are ready”. And now, the eleco tested it. They said “wait, let us test it”. Some of them went to CHS, some to the other side (pointing to Newsite), and then some here, and they casted the votes. The thing worked. Lets test it with the Faculty of Education elections, and they did that, it works. Lets test it with the Faculty of Agriculture elections. They did that, it works. Then we said ok, it is good. And let me tell you, that day, they came and said VC, suspend lectures, that we want to vote. We said No, lectures will be going on and be casting your votes. What happened was that NDU CampusTv was covering it live at the VC conference room. and the aspirants had their agents, and they were all there, and we used three projectors and we beamed the results live.

NDU VC awarding the students’ community

As they were casting the votes, at the same time, you are voting for your president, for your vice, for your treasurer, for your financial secretary, down to the PRO, director of socials and the rest. And they were seeing the results coming in. You will see them, exactly the American elections (someone shouted “realtime”) (Crowd applaud). In this University, so we never arranged for security. (pointing to the CSO) He slept well. Because I remembered the other election, what happens? Where those boys were smoking, planning to come and carry ballot box and run. If you want to carry ballot box, go to the heavens and carry the ballot box (crowd cheers). No way! And so, the elections went smoothly and at the appointed time immediately the last second complete the three o’clock, piam! The thing blocked and all aspirants saw their results immediately. So the issue of saying “arh! this one looked like my own, you see the printing here”, no, or while counting the votes you did mango mango wasn’t there. And even the loser came back to tell me that “Vice Chancellor, yes, we have seen the kind of person you are. You never had a candidate, and so Raphael won. I called Raphael, it has never happened in Niger Delta University before, it has never happens. I wanted the unionism to be real unionism, like the one we played” (interrupted recording).

NUBSS President

“You are now even having social media now, every small thing, you can upload. (Referring to Raphael) He just rolled on the ground that they have beaten the students’ union president. Whereas, nothing touched the students’ president. That was what Raphael did. He came here and collapse, pretended that he collapse and caused confusion here for his selfish interest. So, at that point, as a VC, what will you do? I had all the powers, if I really wanted to exercise my powers, he wouldn’t have been here. He would have been expunged. All the excos would have gone. What we did was to give them suspended sentence. So, you are still under our watch (crowd cheers). You are still… after looking at everything and I looked back my students union days, you know dog no dey chop dog now, you know that one? (audience replied “yes” with applauds). When I looked, they were all guilty. If I really wanted to exercise my powers, some of them would have forgotten about University. And people like us, we are very fair. Same aluta spirit you are exercising, some of us exercised it long before now and we are fair. And after everything and all that, we have to just say, “okay! Yes, that is it. You know they took us to court, and they said civil liberty organization, this and that, and I said, look at these people. I know this students’ unionism more than you. We shall be in the court. And as soon as they go, we just tell them, forget about the university, we will move with you to the Supreme court at which time, I will not be the VC again. Because we will drag this case until for some years. Himself here (referring to Comr. Felix) would have been having grey hairs (audience laughs). And I also looked at the antecedents of the previous union. When Ikporukpo, similar thing happened and Ikporukpo just barked and expel all of them, till today, one is writing, pleading to come back. And some were going back to write jamb, and on the way, they had accident and died. And when I looked at all that, I said, father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.

And so, we gave them this suspended sentence. So, the rope is hanging and the sun is still there. That is why he (referring to Comr. Felix) is excited that he is a graduate today (audience cheered). Let me leave this man and go. And that is why we are here. Have we not tried? (audience shouted in one voice “you have tried”) (students shouted “four tenure”) that is number 1. Because at that time, they were looking at the students’ handbook here and there, they don’t know that that students’ handbook, I wasn’t the VC then, I was part of the people that drafted that students’ handbook in this university and they were quoting students’ handbook. I have the spirit behind all the letters, the sentences, everything at my fingertip, but they were quoting students’ handbook, page this page that, when only me, the law establishing this university, passed on the 15th of May, 2000 has given and empowered the Vice Chancellor to discipline any student without recourse to Senate. That is the Law. If I see that whatever you have done is inimical to this University, I expel you. That is the law. No appeal. If you appeal and I said this is what you have done and you are gone, you are gone. So all these one that people are… your appeal will get to the governing council, and then, at the level of the governing council, they will discuss it and of course you know, you can’t come back. Yes, I never wanted to exercise that power because I always like liberalism. And let us look at this issue passionately. And that is why today everybody is happy. And so, for students’ unionism now, I suspend it for now. Because these are times of elections. If we want the peace we are enjoying that Felix greeted CSO for, we don’t need students’ unions now. I am also a strong activist to the core and social critique to the latter. We can’t do it now! What we want now first is to stabilize our academic sessions. Somebody, the presenter (Michael Jules) came here… that was my initiative (referring to concurrent semesters). He said “following the strikes and the natural disasters and all that has happened in the Niger Delta University, how can we gained back these periods?” Let us test run a model, dual semester, that first semester and second semester should run concurrently. You were having maybe 14 courses to do in a session, teach all of them, teach all of them. That was what in those days, America was using. So, for a B.Sc. programme, you may spend 2 years or 2 and a half years…..” (interrupted records).

“And so, for students’ unionism now, I suspend it for now”

At this point, the VC was already outlining the outlook of the remaining time in this session and the upcoming session. According to him, by July, the school must have completed this first semester. Referring to Michael Jules who presented the lead paper earlier stated, who outlined the effect of running sessions on business growth, the VC said “and that is why that your business concept will continue to flourish at this point in time. Because if they close and goes, Amassoma business will go down, and we are starting immediately. And so, by October 15th, all exams are over for second semester. While Felix is graduating now, his friends even with him are also graduating this same year. And then, we are not closing. While we are closing 15th October, by November, we have started 2019/2020 session (overwhelming applauds). God willing, by June next year, 2019/2020 academic session is over (End of recording).

2019/2020 academic session to conclude June, 2020

The overwhelmed students who held that the VC is already collaborating with NDDC and initiating a 100km road from beans up to Newsite, employing students in most of the school’s endeavours, reinforcing school WiFi and free calls which the VC himself noted will be from for one whole year, gave the Vice Chancellor multitude of nicknames and titles. The students also held that, even as the VC collaborated in his speech, “how can a student who signed the attendance sheet for an exam have missing script? Ok, go and write with computer and let us see how a student will have a missing script”. Report from a staff who was in one of the meetings with the VC indicated that the VC became extremely furious seeing a result of a student who had straight 7 As in her result but failed two courses which one lecturer was taking. According to the undisclosed report, “the VC demanding the see the lecturer as soon as possible to explain how someone who has 7 As will fail two courses he is taking”. The students also remarked how the NDU in the night turn day time as sparkling security lights are now everywhere. The students also commended the VC who held that “if you have talent, do not hide it”.

“How can a student who signed the attendance sheet for an exam have missing script?”

The Vice Chancellor also used the opportunity to lament the current financial state of the institution that owing to dwindling state resources, the school now receives only N350 million as against earlier wage bill of N494 million. Consequently, it has affected how much the school can do. Meanwhile, the school spend N30,000,000 for diesel monthly to keep light 24hrs. The Vice Chancellor also used the opportunity to inform the students that he did not sack any single worker. That in the discuss of who was sacked, “the union leaders and council members are in the best position to answer that question”, but that people wanted to kill him for the sack of workers. Therefore, based on the reduced number of staff, the power to keep the school clean has now reduced. Consequently, the VC appealed that “now, we are going to help ourselves”. Help ourselves in the sense that you can no longer throw dirt on the ground”. You eat gala, keep it with you, when you get to the next trash can/bin, trash it responsibly. If you consume pure water, trash it well. If tom tom, do the same. Then, when you enter a class and the class is dirty, coordinate yourselves and keep it clean. Don’t learn under a dirty environment. I think that university students acquire one attitude once they are in the environment. They immediately turn too clean to attend to these things as if they don’t clean their homes. This time around, the job to keep NDU clean is now a responsibility of all.

Student’s Opinion

All through the proceedings, the students who were in high spirits throughout the events poured titles on the Vice Chancellor. Some of the “titulates” were 5-star VC, aluta general, Mobile VC, 4 more tenure, Digital VC, Let my people go, wire wire VC and lots more.

Prospects

With the current relationship between management and the students, we can see a decade of non-stoppage of academic activities. Except for possible ASUU issues, the school is currently in peace with itself, and students just gaining admission in this new session MAY never experience strike or riots.

 

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