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    Thursday, 28 November 2013

    Yaba Tech’s Cult Gangs: Rector Accused Of Desperate Efforts To Victimize Whistle (Read 4566 times)
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    The Rector of Yaba College of Technology, Kudirat Ladipo, has been accused of exploring desperate means to victimize Fatima Salau, a final-year student of the institution for daring to reveal how the school management props up and shields cult gangs, Naijapals.com has learned.

    A lecturer at the institution, which is known as Yaba Tech, told Naijapals.com that part of Ms. Ladipo’s moves was to set up a panel which would be used to victimize the student after she had written her exam. Our correspondent was told that the whistle-blower, Ms. Salau, wrote her last paper on Thursday, November 21, 2013 and immediately received a letter from the school’s management to face an indicting panel. Her offense is that she reportedly stated that the institution’s top officials were responsible for the absurd increase in the number of cult members and their violent activities on the campus.

    Several sources told Naijapals.com that the panel was clearly out to intimidate the whistle-blower when she appeared before them. They said the panel members informed Ms. Salau that she faced the risk of not receiving her statement of results for the Higher National Diploma (HND) she recently concluded. In addition, our sources disclosed that Ms. Salau was also warned that her National Diploma (ND), which she earned more than two years ago before enrolling for the HND, may also be recalled.

    Ms. Salau, the public relations officer of the Lagos State chapter of the Joint Campus Committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), spoke a few weeks ago on Naijapals.com where she discussed the menace of cult groups at Yaba Tech. During her appearance, she disclosed that the spike in the violent activities of cult gangs, which led to a recent closure of the school by protesting students, was due to the strong backing cult members received from the management of the College.

    Several weeks ago, students at Yaba Tech shut the school down after a suspected cult member used a bottle to viciously attack a fellow student in the Banking and Finance Department. Students were particularly irate as there had been no prior argument between the victim and the assailant before the attack was launched, leaving the victim with severe injuries.

    To register their outrage over the assault, protesting students closed all entrances into the institution, barring any activity. They demanded that the culprit be identified and punished. The rector reportedly cut short a trip to return to campus and appease the students, promising to address the menace of cults. Several students told Naijapals.com that the rector subsequently failed to meet certain conditions the students gave for discontinuing their protest.

    The students’ demands included that the management take full responsibility for the treatment of the victim of the attack, identify and punish the culprit, publish the full list of all cult members on the campus, and eject cult members who reside on the campus especially in the Complex Hall residence.

    “The cult members often boast that they are paid by the management,” said a former member of the Students Union Government (SUG). He added: “At a recent meeting, the management also told us that they would speak to the cult members to stop their nefarious acts. It all means they know each other, both the management and the cult gangs.”

    Instead of meeting the students’ demands to curb cult activities and rusticate known cult members, the rector and some of her team of administrators seemed determined to go after innocent students. Students went on another round of protests after Yaba Tech’s management released an alleged list of supposed cult members. “The list did not contain names of cult members,” one student told Naijapals.com.

    “It was populated with names of innocent students, while the actual cult members who are well known to the management were deliberately exempted,” he alleged. Students rejected the list, describing it as a ploy by the management to shield the cult members. The students demanded that the management should start over and prepare a genuine list of actual cult members.

    In her interview on Naijapals.com, Ms. Salau stated that cult members were well known to the management, but added that the Rector, Ms. Ladipo, was “trying to be mother” to them all. The whistle-blower also disclosed that some cult members who are non-students reside on the campus of the college.

    When our correspondent visited the college recently, numerous students who asked for anonymity accused the school management of funneling cash to the leaders of cult groups, thereby providing incentives for the violent gangs to increase. One of the students accused the rector of cultivating the cult gangs with pay-offs so that they would be handy for her husband, a politician who is reportedly mulling a run in the upcoming 2015 elections.

    “Although we like the woman, but the truth is that she was the least expected to emerge as our rector,” said one of the students. “She became the rector through political influences, and I guess she is servicing the interests that gave her the office by helping to generate touts for their next round of election.”

    A senior lecturer at the college told Naijapals.com that he was not aware that the rector was engaged in clandestine breeding of cult members for political purposes. He added, however, that the perception was damaging enough. “If some students believe that the person who runs this college was breeding a group of students who attack other students, then that is bad for the image of this revered institution and undermines the moral authority any leader must possess in order to lead effectively.” The lecturer added that the allegation was serious enough for the rector to resign or be removed.

    In the meantime, Naijapals.com learned that the panel set up by Ms. Ladipo asked many questions of Ms. Salau but did not give her the opportunity to answer. Rather, members of the panel focused on detailing to the whistle-blower the likely vindictive actions the college could take against her for daring to expose the management’s indifference to the scourge of cult groups.

    A lecturer told our correspondent that he learned that the panel members received a huge shock when they asked Ms. Salau whether she regretted her whistle-blowing action and she gave a resounding “No!” as her answer.

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