Some medical students of the University of Lagos, Akoka, who were given courses contrary to their choices, have threatened to take the institution to court if it fails to reverse its decision within seven days, starting from Wednesday, February 17.
They said they had petitioned the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rahman Bello, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Senate Committee on Education, the National Universities Commission, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, among others, on the development, saying they wanted favourable response before the ultimatum elapsed.
The students had reportedly met the pass mark set by UNILAG for them to move to 200 level, but most of them were not admitted into the College of Medicine in Idi-Araba on the grounds that the quota given to the school was not sufficient. Some of the students and their parents on Thursday protested against the development at PUNCH Place on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, displaying placards, some of which read, “JAMB, NUC, please save our future, save our career, save our destiny, come to our aid,” “This scam must stop, we want our courses at the college of medicine”, “Prof. Rahman Bello, you are a Pharaoh, allow our children to cross to the promised college.”
The petition, which was signed by the principal solicitor for the aggrieved students, Jiti Ogunye, read in part, “We are solicitors to the students of the Faculty of Sciences in the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos State. “By their performances in their first year course work and examinations, they met the requirements by having a Cumulative Grade Point Average or cumulative score average of 50 in the groupings of courses for the Medicine and Surgery, Medical Laboratory, Nursing, and Physiotherapy departments; and a 2.00 CGPA for students in Pharmacology, Physiology and Radiography departments to advance to 200 level and first year in the UNILAG College of Medicine.”
The petition stated further that the school had raised the requirements from 50 per cent and 2.0 CGPA to between 2.5 and 4.11 CGPA after the students had met the initial standards. “We demand that the university rescind its decision by allowing our clients to register for the various medical programmes in the College of Medicine and commence attendance of classes. If the university fails or refuses to accede to our demand within seven days of the delivery of this letter, we shall not hesitate to initiate a legal action against the University of Lagos in the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, for the judicial review of the administrative action.”
One of the students, Emmanuel Adebiyi, who wanted to study medicine, said he could not settle for pharmacology, which he was given by the school. He said, “I got 56, 58 and 72 in the three required courses, but I could not advance to 200 level to further my education as a medical student. We are being denied our rights. We appealed to the President to look into this. I was given Pharmacology, which I did not bargain for.”
A Medical Laboratory student, Samuel Sodipe, said he was eventually offered Botany, “which I don’t like.” Evelyn Ajisafe said the decision of the school had caused “disorientation” of the affected students, adding that they could not study what they did not apply for. “At the end of my 100 level, I had 3.9 CGPA, which is above the 2.00 required by the school. I had already bought some materials for the college of medicine. But when the list came out, 19 out of 49 students were selected. I was among those that met the requirements, but not shortlisted. The university said there was a specific quota which we were not told about from the beginning. I want the school authorities to give us our normal courses. We are psychologically disturbed.”
One of the parents, who gave his name simply as Otunba Afolabi, said the claim by the VC that the affected students failed “is a blatant lie.” “I have been having sleepless nights since this issue started. The school is trying to destroy the destiny of these children. I wanted my daughter to study Agriculture, but she insisted that she wanted nursing.
She tried her best and met the criteria – she had 60, 53 and 58. She had been receiving lectures when the list came out and her name was not there,” he added. The UNILAG spokesperson, Toyin Adebule, could not be reached for comment as his line rang out. A text message sent to his mobile phone had yet to be replied to as of time of filing this report.