The undue exercise of power by porters on students in university of Ibadan is no news and may not really ring a bell in the ears of many but it is an issue that needs to be addressedurgently and properly. The incident that happened in Queens Hall last week may not have any conspicuous effect on the university community because it happened in just one hall but we must not wait till things go wrong before we act.
According to reports and testimonies of some Queens, porters in the hall went round rooms at around 2am at midnight in search of squatters. They didn’t just search, they banged on doors! For God’s sake, Queens Hall is a female hostel; a female hostel that once witnessed the raid of one Mr. Queens. Not many students would think of the bangs on the doors as bangs of porters. The Vice Hall Chair even fainted that night. It is very sad that after all the bangs and threats, no single squatter was found. It is a shame on the management of Queen Elizabeth II Hall and also on the porters that carried out the raid.
Even without being told, the porters should be aware that Queen Elizabeth II Hall is not a male hall that squatting can be very easy. The hall has only one gate (you may call it a narrow door if you like), has a supposed high non Queen residents detection system (at least, the porters scrutinize you as if you want to plant bomb in the hall if you are a male or not a Queen), and also have a visitors’ log-book unlike many male halls. Because of these security measures, it will be very difficult to squat in the hall. However, if all these security measures are not effective enough to the extent that an intruder finds his/her way into the hall, the hall management has to be blamed and not the students. If your watch towers are strong enough, no enemy will find his way into your territory.
Queens Hall is not the only hall where porters exercise undue powers, porters in other halls too do so. The issue is however, a very prominently ones among female halls. Probably because of their “delicate” physiology, porters in female halls seem to take advantage of females a lot.
Most times, one would wonder where the fines paid by students go; the school treasury or the porters’ pockets? Even if we have to pay fines for committed offences, shouldn’t these fines be paid to the school’s Bursary Department and not porters? Even after paying for broken window panes, broken doors, misplaced keys and so on, these damaged objects don’t get replaced. This is absolutely wrong and should be frowned at.
In a bid to probably find other means of adding to their salaries, some porters even extort students. There is the case of a porter in Independence Hall who is popular among students as a regular extortionist. We have to get some things right. Students are not working, even those that work do so to ensure that their studentship in UI is not terminated. Many even rely on the token that their parents send to them from home. It is not an activity that should exist in an intellectual community like UI.
It was Queens Hall last week, who knows which hall will be the next? Students should come out of their shells and stand for their rights. If we can’t stand against little injustice like what Queens experienced last week, how can we stand against great injustice of the world beyond the walls of UI?
The just sworn-in Students’ Union Executives should have it in mind that the undue use of power of porters is a problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The school management too should also try its best to ensure that porters are checkmated duly to avoid cases like that of Queens.
Enjoy the rest of the week.
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