“We Will Never Victimize Any Student on Anything Whatsoever” – UI SRC Speaker - Leystradamus.Com.Ng

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Friday, February 5, 2016

“We Will Never Victimize Any Student on Anything Whatsoever” – UI SRC Speaker

Photo Credit: www.lumensociety.org
Following the resolution and petition of the Students’ Representatives Council (SRC)against the management of the University of Ibadan over the incessant breach of students’ results and records to the public domain, there have been mixed feelings amongst the students with some applauding the move, others believing it to be needless and the rest thinking that it is another exercise in futility. On the 2nd of February, 2016, the “Book of Life” was breached again with links of it flying over the internet and it is being rumoured that the SRC has apprehended some students responsible for the data breach and are on the verge of handling them over to the school management to face the Students’ Disciplinary Council. In this interview, the Speaker of the Students’ Representatives Council speaks to UCJUI on the real state of issues and how they are being managed.  
UCJ: Mr. Speaker sir, it has come to our notice that certain individuals have been accusing the Students’ Union including the SRC of victimising fellow students over the issue of the “Book of Life” breach?
SPEAKER: (Smiles) Let me say this loud and clear, we have not, we are not and we will never victimize any student on anything whatsoever. See, those people in charge of this cheap propaganda are the enemies of progression who are hiding under fake accounts on Facebook to cause mischief amongst us. If indeed their allegation is true and if they have no skeleton in their cupboard, tell them to come out with their real face and say it to our face that the Students’ Union is victimising any student. We all know that the Union’s sacrosanct duty is to protect and fight for the right of every student and that is exactly what we are doing. Something bad has happened obviously taking the two of the management and the students to tango, but we all know who is more responsible for the breach, we are here trying to defend and protect our members and some unscrupulous individuals are saying that we are sending them to SDC, that’s preposterous!
UCJ: You said something about some people being more responsible for the data breach, so, who do you really think is responsible for this breach?
SPEAKER: I said it the other time that the breach takes two to tango. There can never be a breach of this document to the students without some people in the management knowing. But if we were to place the responsibility on percentage, I would say, the management should be 80% responsible for the breach because how ridiculous is it that the management would find it so difficult to secure a mere strictly confidential PDF from inappropriately leaking to the public. In fact, when the house petitioned the people in the management, they were at first denying the breach but later it dawned on them that that there is no point denying the existence of the breach any longer, knowing that it has serious security implications, the school management has now take it as a priority to address now. But the problem is this, if you have a pipe with both ends opened and you want to seal it off with enough water inside, you can’t just close both ends at the same time, it has to be one after the other, you close an end, allow the water to come in, then seal up the other end. And that exactly is what we are trying to do now, we are trying to fix the open end from the part of the students and then charge the management to seal up theirs.
UCJ: Is it true that you have been able to identify the students responsible for this data breach?

SPEAKER: Let me start by saying that we are very sad that some students have to arrogantly defy the SRC resolution and warnings to desist from sharing, collecting mails or illegally transmitting the so called “book of life” in any manner or medium. This arrant disobedience is not good for our Union, we are the students’ representatives, you elected us because you think we are capable of leading you, why then do you have to settle down to frustrating our efforts. Anyway, when the breach occurred after the Senate’s sitting with links flying around on the internet, we decided to set up a committee to investigate the matter and report back to us about those responsible for the major breach and connected to the source in the management, these include those that uploaded it to blogs, emails, websites and google drive, and in fact we have been able to identify some of them. The committee is still working and we are waiting for the committee’s report after which we will know what to do with them, but trust me, it’s not going to be funny.
UCJ: Some students have alleged that the Union, especially the SRC is just making policies without consulting the students to know what they think of it, is it true that the SRC is not running an inclusive parliament as you have promised earlier.
SPEAKER: It is true we promised to run an all-inclusive administration and in fact we did promise to always consult the students before we make any regulations. However on this issue, it is crystal clear that we are not making any new law in that sense, whenever there is a breach, definitely there is a point of legal relationship being compromised. The breach itself is illegal , it is not that we are the ones making it so. It is like we sending out a resolution that anyone caught stealing will be made to face the consequence, we are not in fact making new laws to prohibit stealing, we are simply restating it. How much more , this data breach is even more dangerous than stealing and before we started anything at all on this, it was due to the series of complaints we received from congressmen. But we need to restate here that we are the students’ leaders, you voted for us because you believe we can deliver. We will always consult the students when it is important we do that but you don’t expect us to always run an opinion poll for every decision we will be taking, I don’t think that would be reasonable.
UCJ: Even while you claim to be fighting to protect the students’ right to privacy, many students still believe that this breach is largely harmless and it is just that the Union is just not placing their priorities well. In fact, some students think, the Book of life is the least of the challenges facing us and that the SRC should have addressed such situations like the Zoological Garden fees and transportation problems in Obafemi Awolowo Hall. What do you have to say to this?
SPEAKER: Let me start by saying that it is somewhat disheartening to hear many students say the Book of Life breach is something normal and legal, this really makes one question if our students are learning anything at all; most especially, if it is now coming from the so called law students of the premier varsity, it is an intellectual shame. Let me tell you something, most of the students shouting that there is nothing wrong with the breach and that our fight against it is needless are no doubt ignorant but let me add that they are also lazy for if they are not lazy, they ought o have read the petition we wrote to the management on this issue to further grasp the reason why it is important this breach must stop. We are talking about security and privacy of over 20,000 students here, please, UCJ should help us publish that letter again for the sake of these set of students. Many people don’t even know how insecure our portal is and how having access to the book of life can make it relatively easy to have access to other vital details of students like their email, phone numbers, home address, parents’ details, to even such details as Blood Group and Genotype! This is the 21st century, these details can be easily used by hackers and other evil-minded persons for their selfish purposes and against the students’ interests. The thing is this, these battles are in milestones, we have to win some to move to the other, it is impossible that we achieve everything all at once, and this explains why this anomaly has been going on for more than five years now and nobody seems to care until now. On the issue of those saying, we ought to have been attending to some other issues like the zoological garden and transportation in Awo, the truth is, the executives led by Comrade Olateju Aliyu has been looking into these issues and even others that these people are not even talking about. The point is we know our responsibilities as leaders and we will surely deliver our best.
UCJ: And lastly sir, it is obvious that the students’ records leaked out again, which means your aim has been largely defeated this year. What are the measures you will be putting in place to ensure that the situation does not repeat itself?
SPEAKER: Our aim has not been defeated. I said it earlier that we are still conducting our investigation and we will make sure to get to the source of this breach. And to put measures in place to forestall future occurrence, we will put pressure on the school management to release a bulletin warning both staff and students to stay off breaching this document to the public domain. We will also put pressure on the management to draw up a data protection and privacy policy to regulate and guide the management of students’ records in the University of Ibadan and lastly we will ensure that we speak to the appropriate quarters to make other channels like E-portal, e-mails and parents’ portal through which student can have access to their results to be more efficient and effective. With all these, we hope this year breach will be the very last we will be experiencing in the University of Ibadan.
UCJ: Is there any other thing you would like to tell the students?
SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Permit me in using this medium to restate the resolution reached by the House on the 7th of November, 2015 that dinner and shirt should not be compulsory, I repeat, dinners and shirts are not compulsory. The house also reached the resolution that all basic dues from any hall of residence, department and faculty must also not exceed 2,000 naira and this resolution applies to all students, whether fresh or stale. On this issue, we are aware that some people are grumbling, we don’t care. One thing is clear we will never in any way tolerate extortion of any kind from the students. For those that have it in mind to go against this resolution, I would strictly advise them not to in their own interest, for we have reached all necessary quarters to give effect to this resolution. The interest of the students is the most important thing to us, and we will do everything in our capacity to protect it.
UCJ: Thank you for your time sir.
SPEAKER: You are welcome.

Culled From: UCJ UI

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