By John Tega
The Peretemode-led Management of the Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, yesterday, barred Vanguard Newspaper, Oasis Magazine (OM), the state owned Pointer Newspaper operating in the state from participating in a pre-convocation press briefing ahead of the university’s 13th convocation ceremony holding on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
The incident is coming on the heels of critical reports in the school which sources within the management of the university say it is not “comfortable” with that were published by the said media.
The university’s PRO, Mr. Freeborn Aganbi, is said to have engaged in a shouting match with the publisher of Oasis Magazine (OM), Daniel Dafe Umukoro, when he tried to gatecrash into the venue.
According to the Publisher of OM, he described the incidence as appalling, saying that the university’s PRO, Mr. Freeborn Aganbi claimed that he was operating on orders from above.
He said: “Abraka is our major beat and I wonder why they are doing this despite the fact that they understand that we run a celebrated online and print platform. Does the university expect us to only carry stories that promote them?
“We should be able put them on their toes with our reports? We have done our best to be professional in our reports and have time without numbers explained that we mean no harm to the university and must be allowed to do our jobs professionally.
“When the present VC assumed office, we were one of the media houses that attended his first briefing and actually of all those in attendance, we were the only ones that published the media chat verbatim. Why are they doing this now? Someone is certainly not happy with some of our recent publications.
“Though OM was not invited, we tried to gatecrash to be able to put some questions to him since the coming convocation is the last major event that this administration will hold and apart from such an opportunity, it will be difficult to get the VC for a media chat because from our findings he avoids the press.”
“Well, in any case, I wish the university well and hope the next VC relates very well with the press and allow positive criticisms. The press is a major stakeholder in any organization that intends to achieve anything meaningful anywhere in the world.”
Meanwhile, the university said a total of 4, 252 students will be participating in the convocation ceremony holding on Saturday, noting that the institution has maintained strict adherence to discipline.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Victor Peretomode during the briefing, stated that the varsity currently ranks 2nd among state universities in the country, 20th among Nigerian universities and 46th in Africa.
Speaking on the prevailing peace in the university, he said: “The advantage of this peace that we have been able to bring to the institution has ensured that students graduate when they are supposed to graduate. If you are running a four-year course in the University, you will graduate even before the four years elapses.”
He continued: “The institution frowns at any form of corruption at all levels and we will continue to discipline all those that are found wanting. Committees are set up for various offences in the University and we make sure we implement them to the later.
“We have tried to sanitize the system and students now have the boldness to report any form of harassment from lecturers, and when we investigate and find out that the allegations are true, we discipline the lecturers in different ways.
Speaking further, he opined that “in the past four years, the drop-out rate in the university has reduced because of these rules,” saying that they no longer tolerate indecent dressings around the campus.
“Activities of the so called ‘Yahoo boys’ have also reduced drastically,” he averred.