Full Speech Delivered By Amb. RUFAI LUKMAN OPEYEMI (SIWES), Student Union President Federal Polytechnic Ede, On Occassion Of His Inauguration
BEING THE SPEECH DELIVERED BY AMB. RUFAI LUKMAN OPEYEMI (SIWES), THE PRESIDENT OF THE STUDENT UNION FEDERAL
POLYTECHNICEDE, ON OCCASSION OF HIS INAUGURATION
This Day, October 25 2018
The great American patriot and hero of the war of independence, John Mchenry, told King
George 111 of England to “give me freedom or give me death” whilst George Washington,
the leader of the American forces in that war and the first President of the United States of
America said, “the thing that sets the American Christian apart from all other people in the
world is that he will die on his feet before he will live on his knees”. The most courageous
souls of the 21st century, Edward Snowden, who is the American spy that defected to Russia
three years ago, wrote “speak not because it is safe but because it is right”.
● The Rector and Top officials of the management..
● The Dean of students’ affairs and officials of the directorate
● Academic and Non – Academic Staffs of the Polytechnic Community
● Alumni representatives, Security Operatives and All Pressure groups.
● Chairman of the ISEC and other members of ISEC
● Distinguished Guests, Former SUG Presidents and Union leaders from other prestigious
● Student leaders across faculties, departments and various associations present.
● Ever militant, dynamic and vibrant students
● Members of the Press especially FPE Press
● Ladies and Gentlemen.
● Council of kingmakers and gladiators
● The council of irumoles and friends
Doxology to almighty God, the cherisher the sustainer, It is globally accepted that
Greeting is an expression of courtesy and moral in every gathering of intellects, as such I bring you Solidarity greetings in the spirit of Aluta with high level of maturity, decorum,
decency, diplomacy and of course selfless humanitarian service to the development of dear
student community. I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.
Your determination towards the cause of struggle, sacrifices made and your desire for the
welfarism of students which serve as a challenge not to your own values, goals, selfish
interest but to the purposes of archiving a society we can be proud of. 26th of July, 2018 was
a significant day in the history of our union as thousands of students of this great institution
trooped out enmasse to cast their vote and elect leaders of our great union with a significant
distance in numbers of votes. They came out enmasse with their baton of trust and loyalty
bestowed on us which has become a responsibility for us to bear with all sincerity of purpose
and conscience of duty. I say to you all that we won’t fail. I am not here to celebrate winners
of election rather to congratulate ourselves that we have chosen election over selection,
freedom over oppression, liberty over slavery and most importantly, activeness over
stagnancy and to rebrand with the continuity of freedom, liberty, strong brotherhood and
progress of our past comrades. Today marks the day of our victory cum challenges, test and
Our union has a tracking records of greatness, service, resiliency and endurance. We owe a
debt of gratitude to those who have sacrificed so much for our union to be united in peace,
harmony and strong brotherhood and to great men who have paid the ultimate price for this cause as well as those who are blessed enough to return from this rigorous union affairs unscathed.
Few years ago, I sat in one of those seats you are sitting on as I listen to the inaugural speech
of Com. Muhammad Raji, MRM where he stated that whenever we gather to inaugurate a
President, we bear witness to the supremacy of our constitution, the promise of our union and
the freedom of our members. May I state it here unequivocally that we are ready to sacrifice
for the freedom of our members. Our march to freedom is irreversible. We will not allow fear to stand in our way. Our administration cherishes the ideal of a democratic and freedom oriented society, a polytechnic community devoid of threats, slavery of thoughts and unnecessary use of power. It is important for the management to understand and advisable to
acknowledge that students remain the largest population in this Polytechnic Community,
batons of trust and responsibility placed on the leaders of the union with the supremacy of the
union places the unit of the students above all other units within the Polytechnic Community.
Today’s inauguration is very special as we are not merely having new leaders but we are given out the freedom our students deserved. Over time, as a union, our strength has been
limited in the school premises by the selecting view that sees themselves as CABALS that
don’t want the students union rise again because of their lackadaisical and act of victimizing the innocent students and make decisions for us.
The history of our union has always been in relation with sacrifice, strength and bravery. The union has experienced both greatness and betrayal of student’s trust but we are ready to trek on the path of greatness. Today’s event goes beyond inauguration of elected leaders rather we should celebrate that we have hijacked the union from the powers that make its leaders
“titular” and rejoice that the union has finally become the property of its owners, the students of this great institution. We are simply transferring authority of the union from these power mongers back to the students of this great institution. This is the time to fix the problem, a time to call on the general assembly of students. As members, let us practically start
developing legitimate structures and principles to guide us. Going by the status quo has not
given us any ray of hope; it has only blessed us with sustainable captivity. The era of beer
parlor discussion is over; this is time for serious business, of changing our federal polytechnic
EDE socially, economically and academically.
As I move around this institution interacting with members of our union during my campaigns, I listen to their concerns, read fears in their spoken words and I see a lot of people in quest for freedom. They want to be freed from threats, slavery of thoughts, imposition of opinions and they are craving for a Polytechnic community where students’ view and voices on matters will be respected and heard. This is one of the many demands and most important one.
Stable academic calendar in a conducive environment which includes provision of
materials, equipment’s that will make learning easy, improving academic, welfare and health
of students, improving the transportation system of this institution especially our concerns for students at the south campus on transport issues are our primary duties as an administration.
We also have interest in hostels and the welfare of students living there is important to us.
This administration will not be a weak one because we are ready to show the greatness our
union is known for. Students should be at ease and feel secure because we will not run an
administration that will use peter’s money to pay Paul and still depends on the support of
Paul. This administration will never remain incommunicado in the face of tyranny, injustice, intimidation and oppression irrespective of where it comes from and we will never disrespect any staff all in the name of soliciting for the freedom of the students.
Our administration will be seriously committed to fighting for students when their
right is denied or violated, as we all know that in several occasions, the rights, privileges and human personality is put to question and no one is there to stand for them. We are critically
aware of your immense sacrifices, especially for voting the entire members of my cabinet, simply because you expect changes, which we will surely deliver by the grace
Of God. I SIWES “Is For You And For All”, for a new FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC EDE a dawn for a new experience, on behalf of my entire entourage, I stand to make it clear, that we are Students Union representatives of extraordinary human relations and a bridge-builders in
the polytechnic community. To those who cling to power to intimidate and harass students
through deceit and silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but
that we will extend a hand if you are willingly to in clench your fist.
Our great union has a history of tackling, frowning and standing against cultism, rape, threat,
violence, bullying and insecurity of any forms. This administration reiterates its stand that there shall be no room for any of these social vices. This administration frowns at cultism, rape and we sound a great warning to members and intending ones to renounce cultism as we are ready to wage war against all social vices. This administration will not tolerate any form of bullying, threats and physical assaults from anybody and we are ready to rehab and refresh memories of those who see these evil acts as hobbies.
We are ready to work with the management on the issue of drinking and smoking in
academic areas and hostels. We frown at such act and anyone caught with such act should be
disciplined. We appeal to students to be more security conscious and report any strange
occurrence or gathering to the students’ union government for immediate act. We appreciate
the efforts of the management as they have intensified security on campus at night but we
urge them to inform these security operatives that they are for the protection of students not
harassment of students.
- We demand that the management should look into security staffs details, discharging capacity and work more on the security and safety of our students
- We demand that the Polytechnic Security Committee should not harass, assault or issues threats to the students.
We demand for all inclusive security progammes and charge the management to work more on security and become more proactive.
We seriously frown at the woeful state of transportation in the Polytechnic Community. We
are not happy that the transportation system of this institution is solely for officials and staffs of this institution and we are sad about the negligence attitude on transportation attributed to the largest unit in the Polytechnic Community. As a union, we have received more than enough complains from students who stay in the South campus and we have promised to solve this transportation issue.
- We demand that the school management should make enough provision for buses that will take members to the South campus at an affordable and agreed price.
- We demand that the school management should work with the students union government as we plan to buy buses to relieve the burdens and allow transportation at ease for our members.
- We demand for the full cooperation of the school management as we are ready to launch an internal transportation network in the Polytechnic Community for ease transportation.
- We also appeal to the Alumni body, government and notable personalities to assist us on this issue of transportation.
We appreciate the efforts of the management ably led by the rector of the school, Dr.
Adekolawole who has shown great commitment in the infrastructural growth of this
institution. We have seen the construction of more lecture theatres at the South campus, the
rapid growth and development at the South campus and we are also happy about making roads motorable at the North campus as well. We thank the Alumni body for working with the management for the provision of bulbs, fans and furnitures in lecture halls and we extend our appreciation to the management for the security lights at the strategic places. We frown at
the woeful state of hostels and we are not happy about state of some classrooms.
- We demand for the complete renovation of classrooms and provision of more furnitures foreasy learning at the North campus.
We demand for the complete renovation of hostels beyond painting, planting of flowers and interlocking, Rooms should be renovated, damaged bunks should be repaired or possibly changed.
We demand for monthly maintenance and supervision of hostels and lecture halls.
The deplorable state of lecture halls shows that the management needs to renovate and the
overwhelming population of admitted students in the Daily Part-Time, DPT necessitate the
construction of new lecture halls. It is pathetic that we have no Public Address System and
limited projectors despite the numbers of students we have in the DPT and Part-time
We frown at the woeful state of laboratories as a result of non-availability of equipments and materials needed to perform experiments. We are not happy with the style of alternative practicals adopted as a result of poor state of laboratories. We frown at some laboratory equipments that are not yet installed lying helplessly inside our laboratories.
Mass failure remains unabated, assignments are marked with faces, continuous assessment
tests have been turned to examinations and wickedly made impromptu, lecturers now harass
female students sexually, among other frustrating gestures.
We hereby demand the followings;
- That there should be provision of modern laboratory equipments, materials and they should be furnished to standard types.
- That the management should look deeply into cases of mass failure because some cases are related to victimisation and management should set up a well known disciplinary panel so that lecturers that harass female students can be easily reported and properly disciplined.
INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNION
The union is independent and whatever decision we take as a union is final and irrevocable.
The union is not an appendage of any unit rather it is the property of its owners, the rightful
owners are the students of this great institution. The Rector is a member of ASUP and senior
staffs of Union of Polytechnics. The Registrar is also a member of NASUP and the President of the Student’s Union Government is also a member of the Student’s Union.
This shows that there’s no superiority because all are sister unions and we are all answerable
to the management. Why is it that the management only victimizes the Student’s Union? This must stop as we are ready to put measures in place so that students, union officials and the
union itself won’t be suspended whenever we have different opinions with the stand of the
management. The Students Union Building belongs to the students and all activities and
operations within the building and environs should be reported and taken care of by its government.
THE POLYTECHNIC HEALTH CENTRE
The Polytechnic Health Centre is not encouraging at all, most times students are being
misdiagnosed, sometimes students are not been attended to early and sometimes drugs are not available for students. As a union, we frown at this and cannot allow this to continue.
We demand that the management increase the number of staffs at the health centre and the pharmacy section should be well supplied with drugs so that health delivery will be effective.
We also demand that staffs of the health centre should treat students with utmost care as we
will not tolerate any form of laxity in the system.
ADVICE TO THE STUDENTS
My fellow FEDPOLYEDE students, let us endeavor to comply with the School Regulations and behave ourselves since we are intellectuals, to avoid giving ourselves out cheaply while we lose focus in achieving our aim and objectives as Students Union. Shun Cultism, shun examination malpractices, shun sexual harassment and indecent dressing, shun threatening of lecturers and bully of fellow students.
I want to lead a student’s union government that will work for its people and their freedom
regardless of the sacrifice we are to pay. I want to lead a student’s union government that will
create “Union for all”. Union that is not about North or South campus, Christian or Muslim,
Science or Business studies, Engineering or Environmental but about a better union that
every students will be proud to call their own. I want to lead a student’s union government
that will heal the wounds of betrayal, disappointment and financial recklessness of students and give unto the students a government they can trust again. I will allow openness, transparency and accountability to define this government as the union as a whole will not
hesitate to fish out the corrupt ones among us. I am ready to work with other arms of the
union. The Parliamentarians and judges will be our co-partner in growth and today, I extend our friendship to the FPE Press who will not work with us to give updates to the students and serve as watchdog to this institution. We urge FPE Press to be fair in reporting and write news with conscience. We will not run a government that will ignore the press and ridicules the right of students to information about the union.
I will assemble the best brains as aides and provide the radical will and commitment so that jointly, and with the cooperation of all of you, build the union of our dreams. We will appoint
members of committees across faculties and department and avoid concentration of authority
at a point.
Greatest Nigerian Students! Articulate Fedpolities!! Ever Conscious FPE Students!!!
I conclude with the following counsel.
There will be times that we are powerless when we face evil, injustice and tyranny but there
must never be a time when we fail to protest.
William Shakespeare wrote “cowards die many times before their time but the valiant die but
once” whilst our very own Wole Soyinka wrote “the man died in him who remained silent in
the face of tyranny”.
I for one would rather live a short life and die as a free man than live a long life as a slave.
The Bible says “he who holds on to his life will lose it and he who is ready to give up his life for my cause will gain it”. Am a bitter pill of truth to evil doers and power scavengers.
I appreciate top officials of the Polytechnic Community, Invited Guests, Alumni Executives,
Members of the Central Executive Council, Honorables Members of SRC, Members of
SUJC, leadership of all faculties, departments, religious groups, Indigenous associations and
other associations within the Polytechnic Community.
I am externally grateful to the ever gallant students of this great institution for their trust and I
remain indebted to my parents, families and loved ones. I am grateful and thankful to all
lecturers in my department, faculty and the Polytechnic at large.
I appreciate sacrifices of friends and members of my campaign team during the electioneering processes. I equally express my appreciation to critics, former student union presidents and leaders of students associations present here today.
I thank you all for coming here today and I say to you all that your prayers, supports and advices are needed as we start to rebuild the union into what we deserve and we all shall be proud of. Thank you all for your time, attention and solidarity. I wish you all safe trip back to your various destinations.
I hereby say ALUTA CONTINUA
Long live Nigeria
Long live state of Osun
Long live United State of Ede
Long live federal polytechnic Ede.
COMR. RUFAI LUKMAN ALAGBADA (SIWES)
Students’ Union Government, 2018/2019 session.