UI SU Task Force Stationed at Gate to Prevent Transporters’ Extortion of Freshers

In a bid to prevent the ‘resumption extortion’ of freshmen by cab and tricycle operators in the University of Ibadan, members of the UI Students’ Union Task Force, including the Complaint Committee, Transport Committee, and Welfare Committee were stationed at the University’s main gate for a few hours between 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM on Sunday, the 9th of June, 2024.

Freshers were observed to be attended to by members of the Task Force, who accompanied them to the vehicle stands, providing information on the various prices for trips within the University. 

The Student Union President, Aweda Bolaji, House Secretary, Elemide Daniel, and the Chairman of the Campus Cab and Tricycle Operators, Mr Joseph Temitope (popularly known as Dangote), were seen in the thick of things, coordinating the entire operation. 

“We’ve been here for the past one hour now, trying to ensure that freshers are not overcharged for drop by these transport workers, since many of them are not aware of the cost. You won’t believe that some have charged as high as N800 to Mellanby, and N1,500 to Idia,” Elemide commented, standing with other members of the team at the gate. “There are up to twenty of us on the Task Force, others are inside directing freshers to the park and seeing to it that the exact rates are charged since many of them are just coming into UI for the first time. We’ll be here today, tomorrow, and next tomorrow, since freshers will still be coming in till then,” he added.

Lamenting the state of the country’s economy, Bolaji remarked, “You know the prices of things are already high; in fact, there’s been no change in the basic dues. Yet you find that some of these transporters will still be exploiting these freshers, taking advantage of their ignorance of the cost of transport within UI. This is not justified, because normally, the high volume of people coming in today means they are already making money. So, we have come here so that as these freshers drop in front of the gate, we direct them to the cabs and ensure they don’t pay more than they are supposed to.”

The Chairman, Mr Temitope, also commented on the development. “I have come here with the SU President to see to it that our members don’t take advantage of the freshers. You know drop is normally meant to be N400, so we want to monitor them so they don’t charge more than that.” Efforts by the Press Correspondent to obtain comments from the Freshers proved abortive. 

Readers may recall that the School management issued a directive for freshers to resume at their Halls of Residence today, 9th June 2024. You may also recall that there have been persistent complaints over the past few years by freshers resuming at the University being charged more than the required amount for transportation. Therefore, it remains to be seen if this strategy will be effective over the next few days. 

Igdaliah Otitoola

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