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Danfodiyo Students Bemoan Late Issuance of Identity Card (II)

Apart from the travesty of ID card usage in UDUS lies solely on contradictions and failed promises. Boldly inscribed at the back of UDUS students’ ID card reads: ‘This card must be in owner’s possession at all times. It must not be used by other persons…’. But for the lip-service paid to students’ concerns about providing lanyard (tag) by the management, the card is utterly reduced to a once in a blue moon pass. 

The university handbook also states that “no student shall be allowed to enter the examination hall without the University identity card and examinations card”, consequently identity card is openly given prominence only during examinations. Even so, some students still trotted helter-skelter over lost ID cards which often take considerable process to recollect; getting a police report, an affidavit sworn before a judge must be presented and #3,000 

“In this university, Identity (ID) card rest and sleep until exam periods. Our ID card is solely for exams, and if you ask for mine now, I would tell you it is in my luggage in the hostel. Unless I am travelling out of the school that it is useful, every other day, it stays in my bag” Musa Olamide, 300 L student of political science, stated, expressing concern over the negligible stance the use of ID card has assumed in the university. 

A mild drama occurred in one of the lectures this reporter attended. About 15 students could not get the study guides (a chapter of Plato’s Symposium and The Death of Socrates) given by the lecturer a week earlier. Expectedly, these students were sent out of the class, of which nine lurked around the lectures, eavesdropping the paltry that dribbled past the door of the lecture hall. This infuriated the lecturer who requested for their ID cards to know if actually, they were students. But surprisingly, only one out of the nine students had his identity card with him, others had it kept in hostel supposedly for exams.  

Another student, Ajewumi Kehinde, 300L student of Modern European Languages and Linguistics (MELL), does not use his identity card until exam periods for fear of misplacing it. Ajewumi who was utterly disappointed stated that he could not afford to be bottled up by the rigour of getting another card should it get lost, so he keeps it. 

“ID card?” He was bowled over, “If not for exams, I don’t go around with my ID card because I know nobody would ask for it. Moreover, if it got lost or misplaced, it is another problem, so why should I bother having it with me at all times. So, when it is exam period, I’ll bring it out.”  

Concerned by the porosity of the university community over their security, he advanced the university is only on a time bomb which would be curtailed if prominence is given to identity. “Take the issue of Yaro boys on Campus, there are some that dressed like students. How do we distinguish between students and the natives? We can’t because there are no prioritised means of identification. UDUS is sandwiched between satellite villages that we hardly distinguished students from the locals, what we need is an identity (ID) card with Tag that would help to secure it.” 

UDUS Students Trend #LetLanyardBeUsed Hashtag on Social Media, Demand Usage of Tag

For an average student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, the use of lanyard has always been a dream, one that is blurry and could take donkey years to effectuate. But at the front burner of the campaign for the usage of lanyard popularly known as Tag in UDUS is Adegbite Taoheed, 400 L student of Literature. Taoheed who had earlier had a misconception of UDUS non-usage of lanyard to have religious leanings when he was admitted three years ago realized it has none but a defect in non-implementation of policies.

“When I got admitted to UDUS three years ago, I actually thought the non-usage of lanyard in UDUS had some religious undertone, maybe because of the Islamic atmosphere, we find ourselves here in Sokoto. But it later dawned on me that it has no connection with whatsoever religion it is just how the system has been.”

Disturbed by the identity crisis that holds sway in the university, the final year student of literature charged himself to tool the call for the usage of lanyard in UDUS, albeit in a cooed tone. Today, it is a campaign that has taken the media aback.

“I found it pertinent that considering the porosity of roads leading to the university and the nature of her security architecture, it would highly ease the work of the security apparatus for easy identification of students to adopt the usage of lanyard

The fact is, it is often very difficult to recognize students on campus; different people enter the university without necessarily having any identity, unlike other universities. With a lanyard, there would be easy identification of students, and if at all they want to apprehend anybody – a visitor or stranger, the security would be able to identify strangers from students.”

By implications, the non-usage of ‘tag” in the University often result to lose of ID cards by students due in large part to poor maintenance culture which would have been curtail by the use of ‘Tag’ “Apart, if we are to look into issues that erupt during exams, the identity card is mainly used during exam here, unless we want to deceive ourselves. And despite the fact that it is meant to write exams, we often have cases of missing id cards prior to exams. The ID card is a prerequisite to writing exams, of which without it, the students would not write the exams. 

To avert losing the identity card eleventh hour to the exam, in as much as we have the lanyard, we would have minimal cases of lost ID card because the rope would become part of the students. If eventually the lanyard is adopted on campus, it would not only be a means of identification but also ease the security architecture of the school.”

Many a student’s hope was rekindled late November last year (2019) when the United Bank for Africa presented a microchip-installed Identity (ID) Cards to the university management to serve as both prepaid Visa card and also an ID card, but it did not usher in a new era. Adegbite would not relent, he followed up the proposal even when others have buried the idea “I don’t know what happened with the co-branded ID card proposed by the United Bank for Africa (UBA). I did follow up and I was made to know that it was the school that could not meet with the terms of the proposal, but the Dean promise to meet with them and give us feedback. With all the follow-up, it seems the issue is still tarry. And I can’t relax, that is why we decided to voice out using social media because it is not over until it is over,” he said.

‘We Are Processing it’ – Dean, Students’ Affair

When contacted the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof. Aminu Mode, disclosed to this reporter the commitment of the management to ensure that the identity card is issued to the concerned students, revealed that once the card is ready, the students would be notified. “The ID card is being processed. Immediately it is the ready, we would notify the students”. Even today, we wanted to go and check, but I have been in a meeting since morning,” he said.

Speaking on the campaign for the use of lanyard in the varsity, Prof Mode stated that the campaigners should have channelled the concern to the appropriate authority for consideration. The DSA who revealed that the university would soon unveil her anthem courtesy of a student’s recommendation charged students to write the management on burning issues on campus, noting that the management would gladly welcome such advances.

“Instead of writing it directly, recommend it to the management. Even if it is written one million times, and it is not written to the management, it is just a waste of time. But when a proposal is written to the management, we would definitely work on it. Even if you write to the management as student, say Abiodun Jamiu’ referring to this reporter ’with its benefits, the management would look into it

“As a student, forget about your affiliation, write to the management and propose it. The university would even commend the students. Because it is a common practice in universities, it would help to secure the ID card, we would do the needful. I only get to read it on social media platforms.

“Presently. We are working on the university anthem, it was proposed by a student in my dept (Modern European Languages and Linguistics, MELL) through my office and the university form a committee, I am a member. But when you continue to write without meeting with the management, no one would make any changes among them. When you write to the university through the students’ affairs, it can make changes.”

Speaking further, the DSA concluded by saying that the management would clinically look into it “even if we would say students should pay 1 Naira or 10 Naira for it, we would have to sit and deliberate on it.”

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