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VC angry because we didn’t give him an award — Expelled student leader of Redeemer’s University, Debo Adedayo, spills more

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 misdemeanour.
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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