Tuesday, 20 December 2016

SUG President writes Letter of apology to the Supreme parliament and Uniben Students

I bring warm greetings to the Executive Council, Principal Officers of the Supreme Parliament, all distinguished honourable members of the house and the entire University of Benin students.

First, I must appreciate God for the privilege to stand among this honourable house. To God be all the glory.
Let me quickly render an unreserved apology to the Principal Officers of the Parliament, the Chairman and Members of House Committee on Events and Programmes, Union Property, Transport and Security and all Committee Heads and Constituency Leaders for every one face-off we had in time past. No action was intentional, please accept my sincere apologies.
True leadership they say is the ability to see mistakes, proffer corrections so as to make progress. We must appreciate everyone present for this ability to see mistakes and correct them without fear or favour.  We all did not decide to play active role in student politics because of oratory or administrative prowess but to acquire certain knowledge that will help us face the wider world after our stay on campus. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn what is right and do what is right against all odds at all times. This is integrity.
Things do not just happen for us to make fun of it but for us to learn. It is my candid advice that even as all these has happened within a very short time, we all go back in our closest and have a rethink so we can learn very well from these happenings. Let’s judge our actions and words to ensure they are right because we are gradually building our future.
It was passion that made us take up these offices as executive and nothing else, passion to serve the University of Benin students. That passion is still very much intact and will not die. We are not to apportion blames or make regrets because those things are not needful if we must make progress. The Supreme Parliament has done their duties bounded both conventionally and constitutionally and so we owe nothing against them. This is from a sincere heart.

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Permit me to quickly respond to the allegations levied against me in the 3rd plenary session in my absence following a letter of notification I received on Monday, 5th of December 2016 at about 2pm. The letter stated that I was suspended in line with the Students’ Union Constitution, Section 36 sub section 1, 5, 6 and 7 on the basis of Abuse of Office, Gross Incompetence/ Misconduct and Dereliction of duties.  
I was not present in the plenary session but gathered that the motions raised prior to the resolution adopted by the House were on three (3) subject matters.
1. Letter from Chairman, House Committee on Union Property,

2. The White Nissan Bus attached to the Office of the President,

3. Absence from Plenary Sessions.



On the 5th of November, 2016 at about 10.47am, a guy approached me at Student Affairs amidst the chaos that arose as a result of the hostel accommodation list that was released on the 4th of November. He handed over a letter to me saying it is from the Committee on Union Property. At first, I made a joke out of the situation referring to the students around me as all union property. But while trying to make even the students relieved a little bit, the guy became stern stating that as a matter of urgency, I am mandated to give a report on union property with me and this report should be submitted by hand within twenty four hours. I became furious because I was in the midst of accommodation crisis and someone is bringing up something that is totally different from what is on ground. I angrily tore the letter but then I am inexcusable. Tearing the letter was not the best option particularly because i remembered during my campaign days I said, I will never allow emotions guide my actions and now anger did guide my action. All the same I felt remorseful and later sent an apology message via sms to the guy whose name I did not know as at that time but later discovered that the number I was given was not his active line. Again, let me apologize to the Chairman and Members of House Committee on Union Property for my reaction that day. Kindly accept my sincere apology.



The white Nissan bus was a gift from the former governor of Edo State. The gift came in July, 2016. The gift came to my office because according to him, he heard the bigger union bus left me in Gombe State during NANS convention and so I had to follow the smaller bus for Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. He said I should use that bus for NANS functions as that was the period of NANS Convention.  The inscription on that bus was done by the said government and we left it so till date.
I have not use that bus only for personal activities as that same bus has served us as a union in various functions such as NANS Inauguration at Abuja,  Vice Chancellor mother’s burial, Joint Council Courtesy Visits, Departmental functions – Department of Microbiology HIV/AIDS Campaign/awareness programmes, burial and wedding programmes of students and stakeholders to mention but a few.  The bus is not a personal gift to me but to my office and by the grace of God, I will joyfully hand it over to the next NANS Senator i.e. the next SUG President. I do not have intentions of selling the bus as rumour had it or personalizing the bus. The bus is for the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT and NOT FOR LAURETTA OBAKPOLO.


I am aware of Section 13 sub section 1(b) of the Student Union Constitution which states that ‘‘the Speaker shall convene meetings of Parliament, acting through the Clerk of Parliament on the advice of the President’’. I have received notifications of every one plenary session since we assumed office in April 2016. Let me also inform this honourable house that I have not in any case intentionally missed plenary sessions. The second plenary session was held on the 18th of June 2016. This was the only plenary session I missed without a formal permission from the house. If I could recall accurately, that was the same day the Shuttle and Cab drivers refused to work causing chaos on campus. I and Director of Welfare were out there with them to ensure orderliness on campus.
Let me quickly recap that as a President, I am also a NANS Senator and am duty bound to also represent UNIBEN in NANS functions.  3rd of December 2016, the day for the third plenary session was the wedding day of two (2) NANS Comrades, one in Benin and the other in Warri. Although I advised the Speaker according to Section 13 sub section 1(b) of the Student Union Constitution that day 3rd December won’t be convenient as there were other activities on that same day. I also wrote an official letter twenty four hours prior to the session indicating my absence and by constitution; the Vice President will act on my behalf.  I did not deliberately ignore the session and I did not remember on time I missed the previous sitting.

Lauretta Obakpolor

A question keeps running through my mind. I agree I abused offices and I am sincerely sorry but where was there gross incompetence/misconduct and even dereliction of duty? Just as I said before, it is not needful for us to make baseless arguments but to see as a union with the interest of students as our priority, how to make progress in the short period we have in office. I accept the shortcomings of the Executive Council and the 2015/2016 administration in general. What we want is a peaceful co-existence that will bring progress and not fight for supremacy. I therefore conclude by pleading with every one honourable member of the parliament, the executive council and the entire University of Benin students to please drop all grievances and differences and let’s make peace reign. Without peace there will be no progress, making development a mirage.

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I believe in students, I believe in the executive, parliamentary and judicial arm of government. I believe it was created not for strife but for togetherness. I believe our case as Student Union Leaders in this great University of Benin won’t be different.
Finally, I will again render my sincere apologies without reservation to the School Management, our dear Dean of Students, Executive Council, Supreme Parliament and the great University of Benin Students.

Long live Student Union Government,
Long live the Executive Council,
Long live the Supreme Parliament,
Long live the Judiciary
Long live the University of Benin Students
Long live the University of Benin Management
Long live Edo State
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Aluta continua............................................. Victoria ascerta


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