The management of University of Ilorin has described as baseless, a serialised features story published in a national daily with the title ‘How corruption, favouritism thrive in UNILORIN’. According to a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs, UNILORIN, Mr. Kunle Akogun, the publication, is rather a recap of the documents that the kingpins of the UNILORIN 49 has been circulating against the management of the university for some time now. Stressing that there is no difference from what the group has been circulating through newspaper advertisements and the recent editorial publication.
Stating that the publication is one of the ceaseless attacks on the integrity of the University of Ilorin and its managers by the remnants of the UNILORIN 49, Akogun said that the campaign of calumny on the institution however took a new and dangerous dimension with the enlistment of a reputable news media organisation into the media war. Describing the publication as a rehash of a failed strategy by those who have made UNILORIN-bashing their life-time, Akogun said, “Probably sensing that their past media war stratagem had not achieved their jaundiced objective, these fellows decided to finally go for the kill by hiding under what they think is likely to be a more credible editorial presentation.
“The writer has only being smart by half by merely paraphrasing the documents handed over to him by those who have made UNILORIN-bashing their life-time enterprise! It will not be out of place for the management to take a second look at that write-up and compare it with the past releases and petitions against UNILORIN by these enemies of progress, with a view to checkmating this editorial fraud!
“Even as a matter of editorial style, all the so-called allegations do not worth 10 paragraphs of a tightly edited script much less the whimsically allotted nine pages. This, to us, is a reckless waste of scarce news space that could have even been better used for more serious developmental editorial stuff or even money-spinning advertorials capable of bailing out any newspaper in the face of the current biting economic recession.
Viewed from the prism of professional standard or economic consideration, this shows a high level of poor editorial judgment and a lack of economic savvy. Even the three-day serialisation of the article calls to question the motive of the writer: Was his intention to intimidate the university to the point of negotiating with him on how to “kill” the story mid-way or what?”
Reiterating UNILORIN management’s commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence and highest standards of morals and discipline, he said it has always strived to enforce strict standards without minding whose ox is gored. “If, in the pursuit of these ideals we have stepped on certain toes of some entrenched interests, so be it and there is no apology for that. The university assures all stakeholders that it would continue, at all times, to pursue those ideals that have made UNILORIN the University of first choice among Nigerians,” the statement read.