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Brave Decision: Expelled student leader of Redeemer’s University, Debo Adedayo sets to sue School as He claims VC's angry because they didn’t give him an award

A student of the Redeemer’s University, Debo Adedayo, talks about his post on Facebook that led to his expulsion by the varsity authorities with TOLUWANI ENIOLA

Tell us briefly about yourself.

People call me Mr. Macaroni. I am an actor, entertainer and former President of The Redeemer’s University Students’ Association. I am 24 years old. I hail from Ikija town in Ogun state. My father is Mr. Musa Alao Adedayo, a journalist while my mother is Mrs. Dorcas Adedayo, an educationist. I am a Muslim.

When did you start having problems with the school management?

I belonged to the Theatre Arts Department. I consider myself a graduate because I sat for final examinations and completed my project defence. My results were sent to me and I passed well. The only issue is that I haven’t been issued a certificate.

I first served as the social director of the students’ association in the 2015/2016 academic session. I remember a particular time when I tried to invite singer Adekunle Gold to the university. He is an artiste that I consider one of the most decent in the country. The Director of Students Services, Dr. Arogundade, gave verbal approval. We paid Adekunle Gold N400,000 for the performance. To my surprise later, I later got a call from Dr. Arogundade that we need not bring in Adekunle Gold into the school because he is a worldly artiste and unfit for the varsity.

We tried to make our case known even to the vice-chancellor. The VC said he knew me to be a very sound person but he thought I was lost in the world for trying to bring in the artist. The money was neither refunded nor was the artist allowed to come to the university.

Is that all?

I also remember another incident when I tried to organise a cultural day event. As usual, I shared the idea with the director. I told him we were considering inviting the publisher of Alaroye Newspaper to be the guest speaker for the day. The director agreed. Later, he called me that he discovered that Mr. Adedayo is a Muslim. He said we shouldn’t allow people like that to come into the university.

I told him that there are many Muslim students in the university. If the university can admit them, why can’t a Muslim come to the university to impact on the lives of the students?

There was also a time the graduating students wanted to invite Actress Funke Akindele to the school. I was also involved in a way. The school said she didn’t pass the litmus test of the university as she was recently divorced at the time. I asked if her marital status should be the question or the fact that her coming would inspire and motivate students. I thank God that Funke Akindele-Bello is now happily married and even pregnant. See how God works. The list goes on and on.

What is your relationship with the institution’s VC?

I had the relationship of a sincere and patriotic student president with Professor Adeyewa. I showed him maximum respect always. I commended the university when they did well and also spoke up when our expectations as students were not met. I remember a particular time I went to a certain university on invitation. I met one of the senior lecturers, who said, “Do you know your vice-chancellor is a failure? Since he came in, the admission rate has declined.” I expressed my displeasure and defended the VC and the university. However, the VC always expressed his displeasure that I was not always supporting the management enough. He was always complaining.

You never mentioned any name in your viral post that caused your expulsion. But who are the bloody hypocrites, daddy VC’s and the backbiter daddy you mentioned in the post?

I didn’t mention names in the Facebook post. I wasn’t referring to anyone in particular. It was just a general remark. The post was mainly to express how glad I was to have met with Prof. Wande Abimbola, who impacted so much on me in barely two hours.

How do you feel that the varsity authorities believed they were the target of your post?

I don’t know why the university feels I referred to them. Did they see the posts where I praised the university and advertised it? Why did they decide to pick on a post where I neither mentioned the name of the university nor anyone? I didn’t accuse the vice-chancellor or any lecturer of any failings. I said the post wasn’t about them. I wasn’t even expecting to be summoned concerning any post by the university. I was only awaiting my convocation.

Were you invited for talks before you were expelled from the university?

After the post, I went on with my acting career until I was later summoned by the university. After I was invited, I was told the management would contact me later. However, I noticed that my name wasn’t on the convocation list. My parents went to the school to demand an explanation. They were not properly attended to. The personal assistant to the VC, however, told my mother that I could not be denied my certificate. The PA said that they were only trying to clarify some things.

What was your first reaction when you got the letter of expulsion from the university?

I sighed, prayed and informed my parents.

What are you doing to reverse the management’s decision?

My parents have decided to take the case to court as they do not agree with the verdict of the university. They have been quite patient. The university claimed I said bad things about them in my post on Facebook. As I said, the post wasn’t for Reedemer’s University. We know that the university is influential but we will still try to get justice.

Are you already seeking admission elsewhere?

No, I’m not. I am full of hope that by God’s good grace, I will receive my certificate from my dear Reedemer’s University. I don’t deserve this treatment. As president, my administration reduced the outrageous bus price on campus from N50 to N20. If I had my way, it would have been free. My administration was able to acquire a bus from the Family Forum for easier transportation of students. My administration fought for the increase of food portioning, water and light scarcity. My administration empowered more than 10 students in different entrepreneurial vocations and even assisted students who could not pay or complete their school fees. This one particularly was where all my life savings went to. My administration increased social media awareness and maximum publicity for the university.

Do you regret your post?

No, I don’t. I do not regret living my life for others. I do not regret dedicating myself to the growth and development of Redeemer’s University. I am only sad how things have turned out.

What have been your friend’s reactions?

I received lots of calls from different people showing their concerns.

Is this post about the university the first you wrote on your facebook page?

No. If you check my Instagram page @mrmacaroni1 or Facebook ‘Debo Macaroni Adedayo’ you will see how I used my social media to promote the university.

What are you doing now pending the resolution of the matter?

I am relaxed, prayerful and going about my acting career.

Are you going to take advantage of the ‘recovery of destiny’ programme which the school gave as an option before the decision could be reversed?

No, I won’t because my creator is in charge of my destiny and it is in my hands. I didn’t steal, fight, cheat, or lead a riot as student president. The school expelled me because of a Facebook post they ‘feel’ is about them. I don’t think that is just.

In your post, you mentioned certain things which showed you have been dissatisfied with the state of things in the university. Tell us about them.

Since I entered the university, it is a tradition that the VC is always given an award by the students, association. My administration broke that norm. My cabinet reached the conclusion that the VC did not deserve to be awarded on our student appreciation day. Hence, we didn’t award him. He expressed his anger over this issue. I heard from certain sources that he swore to deal with me.

Food was a big problem during my tenure as president. The university compulsorily collected a sum of N100,000 for feeding as against NUC regulations. That wasn’t even the issue. The food service was terrible. Some students would resume as late as one or two weeks to examination and the university would still collect the whole N100, 000 for feeding and each student is only entitled to N400 per day. My administration fought for the increase of food portioning as I always raised the alarm concerning the poor services. We had to contend with light, water and loads of other issues. The VC wasn’t too pleased that I was always coming to complain.

At a particular time, students were wrongly accused of defrauding the university. Meal cards were used for food service. The inventor of the meal card mentioned that the school didn’t pay for the required tools for the meal card programme. So, sometimes the system wrongly read data on students meal cards. More than 100 students were falsely accused and I stood with everyone of them and by God’s grace, none of them was expelled.

You mentioned that you met Prof. Wande Abimbola whom you compared with some other academics. What is your relationship with him?

I don’t have any relationship with Prof. Abimbola. I only met him that day when I accompanied a team of journalists to interview him.

Is he aware of what happened?

I don’t think he has heard. Even if he does, I don’t have any relationship.

Was the decision to attend a private university a matter of choice or circumstance?

I attended Reedemer’s University because of my passion for theatre. Reedemer’s University happens to be the only private university nearby that offers the course. My parents felt it was best to attend a private university because of strike and other reasons. I had wanted to join Reedemer’s University a year earlier than I did. But admission closed already so I wasn’t allowed to come in despite series of pleas as the university had not conducted matriculation. Such was the reputation of Redeemer’s University at the time. Fast track to my time as president and I cannot say the same.

When SUNDAY PUNCH contacted the university, the Directorate of Corporate Affairs, Redeemer’s University, Adetunji Adeleye, sent the following statement:

The case is purely a disciplinary issue in conformity with the stance and vision of the university. He has chosen to tarnish the image of the university with a pack of lies like he had done previously. His claims are untrue and dodge the real issues for which he was disciplined.

The ploy to smear the image of very senior officers of the university and also discolour the issues to gain public sympathy is quite unfortunate and speaks volumes to discerning minds.

The university has been magnanimous to offer a lifeline to retrace his steps and recover his destiny in spite of his misdemeanor.

It’s unfortunate that instead of showing penitence and embracing the opportunity, he has again, chosen to further portray the university in bad light.

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