I refer to a Press Release currently trending on the social media and authored by an amorphous group that goes by the name Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN).
The Press Release, entitled “Impunity and Endemic Fraud at University of Ilorin”, accused the University of unjustly sending away some newly admitted students without any “reasonable explanation other than claims of “unacceptable results”. The faceless group then ordered the University, within seven days, withdraw its go home order to the students and allow them continue their studies peacefully” failing which it threaten to “shut down the University”.
I wish to make the following clarifications for the benefit of readers and parents who might have been misinformed and misguided by the content of the said Press Release.
In the first place, it was wrong to address the protesters as “Unilorin students”, as they are just admission seekers whose provisional admissions are yet to be officially authenticated. And their total number is 861 and NOT 2000 as being mischievously bandied around.
Out of the 103,000 that made Unilorin their first choice, over 65,000 met the cut-off mark.
But our admission quota is just about 10,000.
And with the cancellation of post-UTME screening by the Federal Government, the University had to device other means to screen the candidates in order to get the number we want.
Ab-initio, we decided against physical screening of the candidates to avoid inviting them to Ilorin.
All qualified candidates were then directed to upload their five best subjects, three of which must be directly relevant to their proposed courses of study.
It was clearly stated that any misinformation or wrong input of subjects or scores would lead to automatic disqualification’
So, on the basis of what the candidates uploaded, they were allocated scores and those that were found worthy were given admission.
After that, we asked them to proceed to pay a NON-REFUNDABLE acceptance fee
But we still had to carry out further screening of their certificates to confirm the veracity of the scores they uploaded, which gave them the admission.
At the University of Ilorin, our tradition is to screen our students both at the entry and exit points. So, if anybody gained admission through false qualification and he/she is not detected at the entry point, he/she would be detected during the screening at the exit point and he would not be allowed to graduate.
So, we did the same thing in this circumstance and we discovered that some of those admitted had cheated and this had given them undue advantage over other candidates
And this is where the Administration said that anybody that cheated should not be allowed to come in.
Perhaps these candidates and their backers didn’t know the larger implication of what they have done, which is plain forgery and examination malpractice. These are criminal offences that are punishable under the laws of the country.
If these guys do not soft-pedal in their misguided advocacy, the University authority can be forced to go the extra mile of handing them over to the law enforcement agencies for necessary disciplinary actions. We have resisted the urge to take such action so far because they are infants who still have a long way to go in life!
The University management would not succumb to blackmail from any quarter. Neither would we allow anybody to dictate to us how to administer this institution that is governed by due process. Rules and regulations are strictly followed here. We don’t know what CATBAN seeks to achieve by constituting itself to a parallel administration of Unilorin with its claim that it had conducted another screening for the affected admission seekers and unilaterally “clearing” them. On what basis and with which data base die they carry out this exercise?
To us, this is clearly laughable and should be ignored by all right-thinking people.
Suffice it to say here that the affected students should not allow themselves to be pushed too far by agents of destabilization, who would only worsen their case, as the University authority is taking steps to review the cases of them who did not set out to cheat or gain admission through dubious means.
Head of Corporate Affairs,
University of Ilorin