Saturday, 13 November 2021

Interview Excerpts: Prof. Kola Kazeem, Provost OSCOED, Ilesa with Jare Ayo Martins on Uniq FM 103.1

Provost of Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, Prof. Kolawole Kazeem with Jare Ayo Martins the General Manager of Uniq FM 103.1, ARA station, Ilesa, Friday on a special radio program talking on the trending proposal to change the College's status to a University, his contributions and the current negative narratives being circulated on the social media concerning him.

Jare Ayo Martins: Good morning sir.

Prof. Kola Kazeem: Good morning to you sir and thank you for this opportunity.

Jare Ayo Martins: Let's talk a bit about the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa. You've been here as Provost of the College going to four years and you've done tremendously well, a lot of people have said it. What are the few things that you can mention that you have done since you took position as the Provost of the College?

Prof. Kola Kazeem: Thank you again for giving me this opportunity at a time when some negative narratives are trending on me on the social media very recently. I want to thank you for giving me this platform to express myself and to say to the world that my coming into OSCOED  as the Provost on the 20th of November, 2017 to do my best and I started ensuring that every time you go into any new place, you are supposed to at least show a little difference for what has been on the ground, so, I did that and I made sure that those ones that are beautiful, I followed them through and those ones that I found a little bit out of place, I made adequate correction on them. I ensure that the college was on a right footing. The few things that I met when I first came were quite challenging. For instance, how could you have students who have finished their examinations, finished their papers and are expecting mobilization for the NYSC and are not mobilized for 3 years. That was the first thing that actually confronted me. 

One day (that was three weeks that I came in), the students just blocked the whole place and I was in my house and I was told that my students were on rampage. At that time, no one had told me that there was anything amiss. I was told that I should not go to them because they were very difficult, that there were dangerous boys, but I drove down to meet them. When I came down the gate of the college was locked. I asked them "Do you want me to talk to you? Open the gate and send representations." The students came to me and we did that. We ensured that at least they were mobilized in less than six months. Even the other sets that were standing for mobilization, we did that too.

So, first thing we were able to do therefore was to make sure that we stabilized the academic calendar and that we have done perfectly well and I am proud to say that we have invented the academic culture of the college as students are doing their programs within the allotted time.

Jare Ayo Martins: Recently, a group of prominent Ijesa indigenes went to governor Adegboyega Oyetola and that they are proposing that the status of the college should be changed to that of a University. Is that part of one thing you want to achieve as well?

Prof. Kola Kazeem: Well, it has been a sing-song for me since my first outing in 2018 for the College's Founders' Day because as at 2018 the College was forty years old and I said, if a College of Education with all the infrastructure that we are having and other contemporaries institutions have all become Universities, then, why not?

God used me to kickstart the move and I was lucky to see people in Ijesaland who bought into that vision. They were so excited about it and it has been kick-started. The trend is on. The only thing that we need to do is to ensure that the State Government would want to see our capacity to ensure that the University runs the way we run the Osun State University without anyone tasking the State Government to start bringing money.

Jare Ayo Martins: All those things you have done, those you've mentioned, those you cannot mention because of time might have really struck a kind of cord in mind of some people in the situation where you are doing very well and a lot of people are bothering you. Some would be detractors. Does that have anything to do with the negative narratives recently written about you that you took N100 million and that you sold part of the College land to miners?

Prof. Kola Kazeem: Let me say emphatically that there's nothing like that. Nothing to that effect as far as I know from the perspective of the College and I, Kolawole Kazeem have never been involved in any sale of any portion of the land of the College. Indeed, what I have done is to ensure that the corporate existence of the College is maintained and I have done everything to ensure that all manners of corrupt practices are stopped and I can give you series of examples that ordinarily would make me to have persons who would not like to see my face. But that is life, if you are determined to do the right things for the people.

I will give you this example. When I came into the College, the I.G.R. staff were being owed more than four months salaries and there were lots of allowances that were not paid, the vehicles of some Principal Officers were seized by some banks and a lot of things like that. So, I went into action and ensured that we blocked all the holes that were irresponsibly leaking and I can tell you today that the only salary we have not paid for the I.G.R. staff is that of November.

That tells you that persons who had been benefitting from the irresponsible acts like corrupt practices, admission racketeering, results manipulation and all those things we stopped would not definitely be my friends.

I will give you this example again. Before now the results of students were not even seen. They were not prepared. Now we have created a culture in the system that says that after the last paper in a particular examination, four weeks after, all results must be back. As I speak with you, I stepped the payment of teaching claims for some staff because they didn't submit the results of the first semester. You can't be holding students to ransom in the name of being a supervisor or a teacher.

Jare Ayo Martins: There was a time the students went on rampage and you came and explained your own part of the story. What is your relationship with the students now?

Prof. Kola Kazeem: You can see that since that last one since 2019, there has never been anything irresponsible because everything that we had that time was instigated. We were able to sit down. One of the culture I brought into the College is engagement. If you see what they wrote now, those persons behind that had tried to lure the Staff Union for support and the Staff Union said what are we going to fight this man for? What has he done wrong? If he had done something wrong, the Union would have come out on their own and protested straight forward to the government.

No comments:

Post a Comment