Tell! Community Unilorin : Could you introduce yourself?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: My name is Eze Glory Chikadibiadibia. A 400 level student of Common Law, and President of The Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ilorin.
Tell! Community Unilorin : Can you tell us what it has been like being the UCJ President?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: I sincerely wouldn’t be giving a clear-cut answer, as the journey somedays have been smooth and other-days, rough. Notwithstanding, being a UCJ President has been worthwhile, challenging, educating and funfilled for me. It’s been a morale booster.
Tell! Community Unilorin : What do you do asides being the president of the union?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: I do volunteer with NGOs, a bit of mooting and business.
Tell! Community Unilorin : What sort of NGOs? Anyone, or is there a particular thing you look out for before volunteering?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: Not necessarily. However, I go essentially with those that foster gender equality, women’s rights, then those that exclusively indulge in charitable initiatives regardless of gender. Let’s just say I do not really have a preference.
Tell! Community Unilorin : What has been your best day in office so far?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: As I’m yet to complete my tenure, I cannot categorically pinpoint a day as my best day in office so far. Presumably, my best day would be the day that marks the end of the tenure; that is, the day I hand over the elects mandate. The day my excos and I can finally lay our heads to rest, beat our chests to say “we’ve achieved.”
Tell! Community Unilorin : How has Covid19 affected your tenure, and how have you coped with it?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: The outbreak of this pandemic has actually affected my tenure in many ways than one: good and bad. There’s been an extension of the duration of the tenure; a huge relapse in news/information dissemination basically as a result of the abrupt closure of schools/ academic activities, incessant hacking of our website. The latter basically has had ripple effects on the administration and her activities.
We’ve however been able to firmly grasp control of its remains, and hope for more stability as we look for other ways to actively engage our members.
Tell! Community Unilorin : After school, how do you intend to combine Law and Journalism?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: The two distinct subjects cut across all facets of life. Whilst they may be distinct, there are similarities: points of interaction, one of which basically is Advocacy. This is something both professions have in common. As a journo or as a lawyer, advocacy of all sorts especially in regards to human rights is second to none. The former indulges in critical writings, transparent investigations and all what not; whilst the latter does the above with an inclusion of the Law.
Though uncertain, I believe I’ll be a full practitioner of the Law, I’ll also not desist from imbibing skills acquired in journalism. For instance, ‘SERAP’ focuses on fighting corruption and advocating for rights through various means as critical writings and court sessions: thereby taking part in journalism even as lawyers; programmes have been organised by SERAP for campus journalists, in which I was in attendance, and was carried out in conjunction with journalism outfits( Premium Times).
Basically, I’m open to an array of options. I can be a legal analyst in a media house; that is still indulging in both. Haha… I can as well delve into something totally different from both after school; uncertainty looms enormous.
Tell! Community Unilorin : What are your plans for encouraging student journalists to write more investigative/disruptive pieces that would truly incite change in Unilorin?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: First and foremost, let’s bear in mind that when it comes to writing disruptive/investigative pieces, campus journalists in Unilorin tend to back out. This is ultimately credited to the fear of unfavourable sanctions. When a piece involves persons or things that can warrant such sanctions, campus journos are advised to publish as anonymous with professional media outlets. However, when a story is not considered so much so a threat to one’s studentship, we go ahead to publish. Still, it seems quite unsettling in the hearts and minds of many.
Consequently, part of our plans put in place are anonymous publications; Editorials( which do not bear the name of any individual but the union); unflinching support of the union’s executives whilst making sure all publications are balanced in content.
Truthfully, I’ve appointed a few persons in the past and given them hints on particular issues on Campus to investigate and write articles on. This is yet another way to encourage others to do same, for I know it takes more than my plan or the excos plan to get our members to action. It takes a lot of courage from within, and not just a superficial passion for journalism. I can assure you of this because I’ve hitherto worked with a member who received a lot of threats after we did a report together and she kept trembling. I had to reassure and advise her to not waiver, as we were backed by real facts.
Lastly, to occasion ‘positive’ change which I believe the student populace all want, within the university’s environs, I’ll never encourage members to engage in disruptive writings or pieces. Journalism is essentially about objectivity; you can achieve certain changes without being rebellious or exhibiting disruptive behaviours. So we encourage objective reports and critical writings not disruption.
Tell! Community Unilorin : How do you plan to foster stronger relationships with mainstream journalism platforms?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: Simple. When likened to a mother and the foetus in her womb that eventually grows into a full-fledged child, we campus journos are a foetus under the protection and guidance of our mother; mainstream media outlets. You simply cannot be a credible and recognised press outfit on campus and not be in close partnership or rapport with the mainstream. For they in many ways than one help to nurture us to childhood/adulthood.
UCJ Unilorin already has a relationship with these bodies and would continue to foster stronger relationships with them through a continuous partnership. This is in the sense that, some campus journos write for these mainstream media outlets; whilst they serve as sponsors and facilitators for our programmes, e.t.c.
In a nutshell, the media outlet in close ties with UCJ Unilorin is Premium Times. Essentially credited to the involvement of our predecessors in their activities. One of which is through the Campus Reporters platform, internship opportunities, and the new project that concerns establishing more press clubs in various universities vis-a-vis training and mobilising more campus journos with the appropriate skill set. Lately, this has however been solidified in earnest, with the enlistment of the Publisher of Premium Times; Sir Dapo Olorunyomi, as a patron of UCJ Unilorin.
As it actually takes two to tango, we’ll on our part continue to ensure positive dispositions toward the aforementioned privileges. I believe that is the best way to ingratiate ourselves with them.
Tell! Community Unilorin : Are you open to partnerships with Tell! Community, Unilorin to organize events and workshops for Unilorin students?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: As far as such events/workshops align with our objectives and is for the common good of the student populace, then it’s definitely feasible. As i remember vividly that in the first quarter of this year, Justice Chambers’ Unilorin organised a Writers’ Workshop in conjunction with both UCJ Unilorin and Tell! Community.
We only have to begin plans ahead and have such programmes included in our calendar, to avoid hasty or failed preparations.
Tell! Community ommunity unilorin: What advice would you give to new students – who aspire to be campus journalists – on how to maximize their time in the university?
Eze Glory Chikadibia: New students on Campus aspiring to be Campus Journalists, are reminded that their primary purpose for being on campus is their academics. It should be given a topmost priority above all else.
However, the importance of engaging in extra-curricular activities to gain knowledge and experience beyond the four-walls of a class cannot also be overemphasised.
Having internalised the foregoing, a key to maximising your time as a student and a journalist in the University is obtained.
There’s the popular saying that, “we can’t serve two masters at a time.” For one would surely have to suffer for the other. Consequently, i would advise you to never let the time, efforts or energy exerted on your extra-curricular activities , overlap that of your academics. Though, there are days when it would be unavoidable.